Drought is a reality of life in the Mara, but global climate trends are catching up to pastoralist communities, left with limited options for mitigating harsh conditions as land is privatized and agriculture diverts water sources.
According to BBC news, “Uhuru Kenyatta appealed for international aid and said the government would increase food handouts to the most needy communities.” BBC also reports that, “Kenya’s drought management authority says about 2.7 million people are in need and livestock are threatened”
Read BBC’s article here.
The Nation reports that three previously permanent rivers have dried up in Kenya and, as water is diverted for agricultural use, those who live downstream are put at risk. Pastoralists have migrated as far as Uganda in search of pastures according to The Nation.
The Nation also released an article about the drought’s risks to wildlife in the National Reserve. George Sayagie reports, “the drought that has continued ravaging various parts of Kenya now threatens wildlife in the world-famous Maasai Mara National Reserve. Crocodiles and hippos are dying as the Mara and Talek rivers, which traverse the game reserve, are drying up.”
The MGA is bearing the brunt of this national disaster, as our membership lives downstream from industrial agricultural production and the environmental crisis of the Mau Forest, where the Talek River originates. We are overwhelmed by the challenges that wildlife and our community members face as the scarcity of water continues.
MGA members are losing livestock by the day and have put their work on hiatus until they can recover from the massive effects of the drought.
Please keep our members, our community, and all beings that occupy these lands in your prayers as we push through this long drought.
MGA leadership is still organizing to find economic opportunities for membership that can mitigate the impacts of the dry season. Consider contributing to Mara Guides Association, as community empowerment platforms are one of our best answers to the challenges the Maasai Community faces.
As we build our movement, we hope to grow our capacity to protect our members and provide support during the difficult times. We extend the deepest gratitude to our friends and families internationally who support MGA’s vision and the Maasai community.