Northern Kenya’s Drought-hit Herders Pin Hopes on Desert Farming

VOA News, Garissa, Kenya, 4 December 2014, Hilary Heuler

Kenya’s hot and arid north has been suffering droughts and dry spells for years, which locals say are getting more severe. Herders have seen their animals die, leaving them with nearly nothing. Extreme circumstances have pushed some in the area to resort to the locally-stigmatized practice of agriculture, in hopes of being able to feed their families once again.

Ali Abdi’s family had long been considered wealthy, well-respected in their home district of Garissa, in northern Kenya. Abdi himself had around 100 goats, which he moved with the seasons, always on the lookout for fresh pastures.

But then came the long drought of 2012 and 2013, and Abdi’s fortunes changed.

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