Gruesome photos of dead giraffes highlight Kenya drought devastation
Disclaimer: This story contains graphic images below.
A startling aerial photograph of six dead giraffes, their emaciated bodies horribly entangled, shows the dire effects of a drought in Kenya and surrounding countries.
Photojournalist Ed Ram was covering the drought for Getty Images and the Guardian newspaper when project leader Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy told him about a group of giraffes who had died just steps from a water tank in the village of Eyrib .
The creatures, weakened by hunger and thirst, found themselves trapped in the mud about ten meters from the water and died. Their bodies were moved outside the village to protect the remaining water from contamination. This is where Ram photographed them.
He said As it happens Host Carol Off that if the photos show the deadly toll of drought on animals, it really illustrates the plight of people.
âLivestock for pastoral communities is extremely important because people use their animals for food and feed, but they also use them for trade,â he said.
âPeople sell their cattle and use the money to pay for children’s educationâ¦ so the children drop out of school. People have sent their children to college and they are no longer able to go to college and pay for it. Local businesses are in one town that I was in, all the small businesses were closed. “
Millions of Kenyans are facing famine due to the severe drought that has plagued half the country for months, according to the Kenya Drought Management Authority.
Kenya has been hit by three consecutive bad rainy seasons, the United Nations said in a statement on Tuesday, leaving 2.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
About 368,000 people in the country have reached emergency levels of hunger, and more than 523,000 children under the age of five are in urgent need of treatment for acute malnutrition, according to estimates by the Office of the Coordination of Affairs. United Nations humanitarian organizations.
Drought has also affected regions of Ethiopia and Somalia.
The UN says the situation has caused crop failures and massive deaths of animals and livestock.
These deaths are visible everywhere you go in Kenya, Ram said.
âWhen you approach many villages in the area, there are dead cows lining sort of sand tracks when you get to the villages, in various states of decay,â he said. “And the cows that were left were very emaciated.”
Kenya’s rainy season is over, which means things will likely stay dry until at least March.
Ram says he has no hope for the near future. He says a local governor told him that if there was more rain soon, “it would be a miracle.”
Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview conducted by Kate Swoger.