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First Rain

First Rain

Dark clouds swarm on the horizon and the wind carries approaching rain. It is not a smell or a feeling that drifts across the land, though the nostrils are suddenly thrust free of dust and the air is lighter and cooler against the skin. It is a taste, a saturated sweetness on the tip of the tongue, a quenching of the thirst by particles unseen that blow, for the first time in over a year, across the bare earth, scarred trees and broken imaginations of northern Kenya.

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Categories: Kenya, Blogs, The Environment, Poverty and Development

Dry Land, Dry Sentiment

Dry Land, Dry Sentiment Remembering traditional patterns in times of drought

East Africa is in transition; a drought that has lasted more than a year in many parts of the region has just broken with the onset of rains. Many say that this period without rain has the been the worst that anyone can remember, the majority of livestock dying, crops failing and refusing to sprout, perennial rivers drying up for the first time, and power and water rationing taking place in urban areas. In the rangelands of northern Kenya, and similar landscapes throughout the region, land degradation and resource scarcity has provoked conflict, political maneuvering along ethnic lines, and left at least 20 million people lacking food security. Now, with the onset of El NiƱo rains, the region is poised on the edge of extremes, fearful of the damage that too much water will cause in a degraded and fragile land.

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Categories: Kenya, Blogs, The Environment, Poverty and Development, Global Health, Politics and Conflict

How Has the World Water Crisis Affected You?

How Has the World Water Crisis Affected You?

It is dawn and the camels move past the truck like shadows. They seem too tired to talk, their heads bent down as they plod on along the dirt track. The only sound they make is the light thud of their feet hitting the white sand. Perhaps they are embracing the morning in silence; watching the last few rebellious stars disappear as the pink sky turns the acacia trees to silhouettes. Or, and this is much more likely, they are quiet because they are walking through a graveyard and do not want to wake the dead.

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Categories: Kenya, Read, Blogs, The Environment, Poverty and Development, Global Health

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