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Kenyans die in drought, officials say

Kenyans die in drought, officials say

Hundreds of elephants, wildebeests and zebras dead in Kenya amid prolonged drought

Hundreds of elephants, wildebeests and zebras died in Kenya over the last several days as a result of prolonged drought, a local official admitted on Tuesday.

The killings follow the death of at least six people from the elephants in two weeks, including the body of a man who was decapitated, officials from the local Kenya Tourism board said.

The killings came after months of declining water reserves, which have led to widespread famine and crop failures.

“All these deaths that have occurred in the last couple of days is very, very sad,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP at the government guesthouse in Nyanza County.

“The weather conditions in central Kenya are becoming very dry” as the rains season in the country has come to an end.

The number of people who died of famine-related diseases in the country reached 20 in August, according to government figures.

Last week, six people who died of diseases linked to drought were buried in a mass funeral ceremony under a canopy of acacia trees on the outskirts of the capital Nairobi, officials said on Monday.

“At this time, we mourn for those who have lost their lives to the scourge of famine and climate change and we are determined to ensure that no-one dies in vain in the fight against hunger and drought,” said the prime minister, Raila Odinga, in statement.

He also announced plans to revive the National Green Belt programme to promote conservation of trees and bushes.

The government has also called for an international effort to increase supplies of clean drinking water and to help with disaster relief efforts.

Kenya has suffered from a series of droughts that have dried up water reserves, leading to worsening famine conditions in the country.

The worst one, which hit the land the night of July 25-26, 2012, killed an estimated 2.4 million people, mostly in South Sudan and Somalia.

The current drought has affected more than 100 million people since May, 2011, when it reached its highest extent of 40 per cent of the country, which is about the size of Belgium, but is only 3.4 per cent of Kenya’s landmass.

The drought

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