Kenya’s northern rangelands are in grave danger. Samburu county, once a lush pastureland, is now 40 % desert. A deadly combination of climate change and overgrazing has desiccated the landscape. Samburu warriors have always left their families behind when grazing cattle. But now many villages are so dry, children ask for water not candy. Others dig makeshift wells in dried up riverbanks to nourish the goats that sustain them.

Olare-Sero Village & Well

In the lawless wilderness where they graze their cows, well-armed herders are forced to compete for diminishing grasslands. Cattle rustling between Samburu, Boran, Pokot & Turkana warriors is on the rise. Hundreds have died in senseless cattle wars that rival Kenya’s losses from terrorism, but the warriors say their entire culture depends on sustaining massive herds of cattle. The Ewaso Nyiro River marks the boundary between the rival warriors. But now that lifeline is drying up. Watch End of the River – Parts 1 and 2, a film produced by John-Allan Namu and Africa Uncensored.

Can a more enlightened and sustainable use of water and grasslands save lives and protect the fragile northern ecosystem?

Archer’s Post Market

Web page by Belva Digital. Photos by Andrew Tkach.