Climate forecasts could help drought-hit herders make smarter moves

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 15:00

LAMU, Kenya - Dec 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As Mohammed Ngalo brushes his teeth with a twig, he looks up to the sky for a sign that rain is coming. "The April rains started late and stopped early, while the October rains were less abundant than usual, reducing our pastures," the herder explained. Since 2013, Ngalo and his family of five have been away from their traditional grazing grounds in Kenya's Garissa county, searching for increasingly scarce food and water for their cattle. After a 300 km trek by foot to Wajir county, they moved on to Lamu county in January with their cows. But even here they are finding more pastoralists and animals than grass and water. "The Lamu forest belt has always had grass even when other grazing fields are dry - but it seems everyone has converged here," said Ngalo, shaking his head.