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Thousands of Kenyans Flee Northern Drought for Uganda

The drought in northern Kenya is forcing thousands of people to migrate to Uganda. Pastureland has dried up in West Pokot District and both people and cattle are searching for food and water.

Rev. Joseph Murupus has seen the exodus first hand. He’s national vice-chairman of the National Council of Churches of Kenya and head of the Reform Church of East Africa. From near the town of Eldoret, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the severe conditions.

“People are extremely hungry and the animals have no grass. There is also no water. The whole area of water has dried up. People have begun to dig several inches down and they cannot get water. So they have decided to move to the other side of Uganda.”

He says there is a danger of ethnic clashes as the Kenyans make their trek into Uganda.

Asked what is being done to help them, Rev. Murupus says, “At the moment there is not so much done. The government is a little bit quiet and there is more concentration on the eastern part of Kenya.”

It’s expected to take several days for the Pokot to make the trek and there are taking thousands of head of cattle with them.

“They cannot leave without their animals. For them, their animals come first in their whole livelihood and that is why they are moving. What is also worrying is that their children are also following them,” he says. Many cattle have died along the roads from thirst.