Broll / 4:46 / MOV / 345.9 MB

06-04-2017 | Latest News , Africa

Drone footage highlights severity of drought in Kenya?s Ewaso Ngiro river basin.


*Shot 27–28 March 2017, Ewaso Ngiro river basin and Isiolo town, Kenya 
*B-roll duration 
05:00, mute/natural sound/Borana, English
*DJI Phantom 4 drone aerials, ground shots 
*Source Kenya Red Cross Society, pool coverage, no restrictions 

Severe drought in Kenya has left 3 million people in need of food assistance and the Government has warned that the figure could climb to 4 million in the next few weeks.

On the dusty, dried-up Ewaso Ngiro river bed in Isiolo county, pastoralists are digging shallow wells and transporting the mud-coloured groundwater to villages nearby.  The fate of their livestock weighs heavily on their minds.  Without rain, their animals will perish from insufficient feed and water.

It is exhausting work, but Hawo Holale and Hawo Racho travel every two days to the dry river bed in search of the brown water which they carry in 20 litre containers back to Gafarsa, their village four kilometres away. The water is used for drinking, cooking and washing. “This isn’t fresh water. That isn’t this colour,” says Hawo Racho.  Their other alternative--buying water at 30 shillings for 20 litres – is not an option.

“The situation is getting worse every day,” said Dr Abbas Gullet, Kenya Red Cross (KRCS) Secretary General and IFRC vice-president. “Malnutrition rates among children are steadily climbing. Children are getting sick, and livelihoods of families have been decimated following the loss of thousands of their livestock. It is more and more difficult for people to access water – people are having to travel for up to three times as long just to get water for their family. This is an emergency that will not improve without help.”

On March 25, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on raised its emergency appeal  from 9 million (8,971,000 USD) to  25 million CHF (24,919,000 USD) CHF dollars to support the KRCS in assisting just over a million people over the next 12 months with safe water, sanitation, hygiene, cash transfers, health and nutrition, livelihoods, and food security.

The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) has forecasted that the next rains will be below normal which makes Chief Ali Galgalo of the Belgesh ‘sub-location’ near Gafarsa very worried.    “If there is no rain in the next few weeks the situation will become very critical”.  

In the worst-case scenario, 1,800 pastoralists in his community, will be forced to de-stock their animals, which means that they will quickly sell off an estimated 50,000 livestock before they perish from hunger and thirst.

“If the rain forecast is true” says Elizabeth Oruoch, a Regional Logistics Officer at the KRCS Isiolo branch “I believe this would affect the animals. This would even lead to death of the animals. Eventually this would prompt communities to start destocking. “

KRCS volunteers are stationed along the Ewaso Ngiro river to monitor the situation have provided more than 13,000 families in the hardest-drought-hit areas with cash transfers. Nearly 20,000 people have benefited from Red Cross supported destocking, and some 66,000 people have received emergency food aid.

A detailed study released at a conference of climate scientists in Nairobi last week warned that the drought situation in Kenya will get worse.

Editors: The DJI Phantom 4 camera drone used by the KRCS to document the drought was supplied by the Climate Centre as part of its forecast-based financing programme for large-scale climate-related disasters in Africa supported by the German Red Cross and foreign ministry.



-Aerial Kenya Red Cross vehicle crossing dried-up Ewaso Ngiro river bed (drone follows vehicle)
-Wide aerial of huge expanse of dried-up Ewaso Ngiro river bed upstream from there
-Ground shot of (at right) Hawo Holale and Hawo Racho
-Hawo Holale and Hawo Racho soundbites (Borana) as above
-Low aerial of camels at well
-Ascending aerial of camels drinking
-Soundbite (English) in Isiolo town as above, Elizabeth Oruoch, Regional Logistics Officer, KRCS Isiolo branch
-Ground long shot of men driving water cart across flat of riverbed
-Women driving donkey cart carrying water up slope
-Aerial of cart disappearing into bush (drone follows cart). 


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