Profile image
By Global Warming is Real (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Kenyans Turn to Foraging as Californians Bail Out from Torrential Rains

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 13:48
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Climate scientists have hypothesized that the rapid warming of the oceans and atmosphere could lead to more frequent floods and droughts, as well as exacerbate their intensity. With torrential rains sweeping across the state Californians may now be experiencing this first hand.

Extreme weather: Oroville Dam emergency spillway threatened by intense rain

Climate scientists have also hypothesized that the rapid climate warming we’ve been experiencing in recent generations could intensify and raise the likelihood El Niño events will occur. Evidence supporting this theory is also accumulating.

Attempting to cope with historic drought, rural families and communities throughout Kenya are foraging for wild fruits and vegetables and trapping insects that often contain toxic chemicals in order to sustain themselves. Adding to the growing health threat, rivers have run dry, so they’re using unsanitary water for cooking and drinking. Similar events are taking place in neighboring Ethiopia and across East Africa, the Inter Press News Service (IPS) reports.

East Africa’s historic drought

Devastating drought in East Africa

“The most severe drought in decades, which has struck parts of Ethiopia and is exacerbated by a particularly strong El Niño effect, has led to successive failed harvests and widespread livestock deaths in some areas, and humanitarian needs have tripled since the beginning of 2015,” the United Nations (UN) has warned.

In Kenya, rural residents are boiling the food they forage in the mistaken belief that it will remove the toxins they contain. “In most of these counties, mothers are feeding their children wild fruits and tubers. They boil them for at least 12 hours, believing that this will remove the poison they carry,” agricultural and soil conservationist Hilda Mukui told IPS.

Mukui added that 23 of 47 Kenyan counties are experiencing unusually high temperatures, prolonged rainfall deficits and water shortages.

An uptick in deforestation is making matters worse. “We are now facing severe effects of desertification because we are cutting down more trees than we can plant,” Mukui explained.

Just 7 percent of Kenya is forested, according to the East African nation’s forest service. Of particular note, an estimated 25 percent of its largest water catchment area, the Mau Forest Complex, has been lost due to human activity.

Ambitious reforestation plan, but little to show for it

Kenya’s government launched an ambitious reforestation plan as part of its Vision 2030 sustainable development strategic plan, but the initiative hasn’t taken off. Overall, Mukui estimated that at least 10 million Kenyans are “food insecure,” with 2 million of them facing starvation.

Reforestation not yet taking hold in Kenya

That’s about one-quarter of Kenya’s 44 million population. Most live in rural areas and rely on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods, but an estimated 10 million – around 40 percent of Kenya’s rural population – live on degraded agricultural lands.

About 80 percent of Kenya’s land area is categorized as arid or semi-arid, according to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Home to around 35 percent of national population, once fertile lands in these areas are slowly drying out and becoming unproductive.

Examining data over the longer term, Kenya has suffered through 11 droughts since 1975, excluding the one that now looms over the country.

UNCCD estimates that investing $1 dollar in reforestation and land revitalization can produce as much as $4 in benefits, and it is providing funding, technical and other resources to improve the dire situation. “What we need is better coordination and concerted efforts among the many stakeholders involved, government, communities, donors and the civil society, just to name a few,” Mukui told IPS.

Atmospheric rivers and record-breaking California rains

Meanwhile, Californians are bailing themselves out from torrential rains this past week. Meteorologists attributed the downpours to an atmospheric river – a jet stream of moisture that can carry some 10 times as much water vapor as the Mississippi River does liquid water at its mouth, Tech Times reported.

“Atmospheric rivers have been associated with historic floods including all seven floods on the Russian River in California that occurred between 1996 and 2007 and all 10 of the largest floods that occurred in Britain since the 1970s,” Tech Times reports.

The record-breaking rains brought an end to California’s long running drought, but they also caused widespread flooding and damages.

Scientists have also discovered that atmospheric rivers have decimated animal and plant species, including commercially important ones. According to Tech Times’ report, “between 97 and 100 percent of wild Olympia oysters in north San Francisco Bay died after the region was hit by rainfall caused by atmospheric rivers dumping vast amounts of rain over a short period of time, which caused floods.”

*Image credits: 1); Oroville Dam Spillway; 2) UNICEF; 3)

The post Kenyans Turn to Foraging as Californians Bail Out from Torrential Rains appeared first on Global Warming is Real.


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Total 2 comments
  • tiredofBS

    Maybe Obama should run for president in Kenya , to help them like he helped us…

    Olympian oyster? Died because it rained a lot?
    What about before 1997 ? Did the Russian river not flood before that? Before an atmospheric river was publicized ?

    Atmospheric river could be up to 370 miles wide and can hold as much if not more then the Mississippi River moves in a day.

    Isn’t it interesting that this info comes out now, rather then during my lifetime , I even have a book from from the 90′s that explained weather and clouds, was looking for info on condensation trails….did not see anything about a sky River and of course the polar vortex…that’s a new one too

    What about when California was in drought for over a decade and the east coast was flooding all over the place?
    So many questions….

  • Firmament Does Exist

    I love how ” climate scientists” never acknowledge and take into consideration the world wide geo engineering aerosol spraying of the atmosphere or the various
    Ionospheric heaters (HHARP) into their research and data. So it makes all the hype and this article useless, phoney science.

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global

Top Alternative



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.