Northern Kenya Faces Hotter, Drier Climate
David Lawrence is a former executive with Shell Upstream Americas and Royal Dutch Shell who leads the Lawrence Energy Group, an Energy investmentvand advisory firm where he offers clients consultancy services that bring pragmatic focus to the challenging transition from fossil fuels to renewables. Concerned with the potential impact of climate change on a broad spectrum of issues, David Lawrence follows developments in the area of the economic and societal impacts of climate change closely. 

As reported in the New York Times, Northern Kenya has become significantly drier and hotter over the past century, with four major droughts hitting the region in the past two decades. As a result, famine threatens a vast region. An estimated 650,000 children under the age of 5 spanning Kenya and its neighboring countries Ethiopia and Somalia are severely malnourished, while some 12 million people regionwide subsist primarily on food aid. 

A result of the ongoing drought, which started in 2017, is that herders have begun to steal livestock from neighboring communities or surreptitiously bring their herds into nature reserves for grazing. A Kenyan meteorologist with the Famine Early Warning Systems Network describes an urgent need to adapt to this “new normal” in his country by storing grains well in advance of droughts and constructing reservoirs to provide water storage. In addition, he recommends transitioning to crops that thrive in Kenya’s soil, in addition to maize, a staple in the Kenyan diet. 

Unfortunately, given the severity of the drought and the inability for organizations to coordinate action, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better.
Northern Kenya Faces Hotter, Drier Climate
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Northern Kenya Faces Hotter, Drier Climate

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