Drought in the Horn of Africa

11 August 2022


The East African region of the Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in more than 40 years, following four years of below average rainfall, and the area needs your help.

A lioness standing in a dry and barren looking patch of grass

Born Free is increasingly concerned about the drought currently gripping the Horn of Africa and needs your support. Four back-to-back below average rainy seasons in Kenya have led to the longest drought in at least 40 years and the impacts are really starting to bite. 

This drought, affecting Somalia, Ethiopia and parts of Kenya, and amplified by concurrent conflict, economic challenges and external supply shocks in part due to the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, is culminating in devastating and long-lasting impacts on societies and the environment. These impacts range from devastated livelihoods, debilitated livestock herds, acute food insecurity, increased incidents of human-wildlife conflict, disease spill-over, declines in wildlife population, reduced crop harvest, vegetation shifts, decreased water availability and depleted household incomes. This has left 4.2 million people in Kenya alone in need of humanitarian assistance.

Born Free runs three conservation programmes in Kenya aimed at helping people and wildlife coexist. Kenya is home to more than 56 million people and some of the most highly threatened species on the planet, including some of Born Free’s flagship species, the African lion and the African savannah elephant. In many of the most important habitats for wildlife in Kenya, rivers and watering holes are drying up, grazing areas have turned to dusty plains and animals are suffering. According to Kenya’s Wildlife and Tourism Ministry, more than 70 elephants died in 2021 due to drought and they believe that climate change and the associated extended drought conditions will kill 20 times more elephants than poaching.

Funded with the help of our adoption programme, huge efforts are being made on the ground by Born Free and partners to mitigate the worst of the impacts of the drought for people, livestock and wildlife. However, everyone has a part to play in mitigating climate change and preventing associated droughts and other implications for those people most affected. You can support this vital work by sponsoring our adopted animals in Kenya – you can adopt the Elephant Family, the Giraffe Family, the Rhino Family and Elsa’s Pride of lions.

Dr Nikki Tagg, Born Free’s Head of Conservation said, “Extended and more frequent droughts in the tropics is one of the effects of climate breakdown that is already very real and people are suffering. Born Free recognizes that people cannot embrace conservation when they’re struggling to make ends meet. We also recognize the critical role that wildlife conservation has to play in helping to limit and mitigate some of these affects and supporting those people most in need. As the drought tightens its grip on Kenya, we will do all we can to support both people and wildlife in the landscapes that mean so much to Born Free.”