Climate Story Series: Kenya and Conservation

“Is it going to rain today?” I asked our safari guide Mike.
“No,” he said with a smile. Then after a few seconds he continued, “But you never know. Global warming has got us all mixed up. The seasons are changing.”

In Kenya, Mike went on to say, farmers could plant their crops based on knowing that it would begin raining in the first or second week of April. They could mark their calendars by it. Not anymore.

Climate change is already impacting lives and livelihoods. People are going hungry, food can become scarce and more expensive.

Beyond humans’ access to food, the shifting weather patterns affect migrations of wildlife. Animals from elephants to wildebeest depend on certain watering holes being available at the height of the dry season; so as these are drying up, a lot of them are going thirsty.

For so many species that are already endangered, this puts additional pressure on their long-term survival. For African countries whose economies rely heavily on safari tourism, what will they do when there are no more elephants or wildebeest?

I visited Ol Pejeta Conservancy, an incredible model for conservation parks. But they can’t do the work alone. We must do better.

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