Shutterstock Anton Petrus Close Authorship Northern Kenya — and the 310,000 Samburu people who live there — is experiencing many of the most damaging impacts of climate change. Like their Samburu ancestors going back to the 15th century, Pamela Lonolngenje’s family has been literally on the move for hundreds of years. One of around a half-dozen semi-nomadic tribes in the vast drylands of northern Kenya, the family spent years shifting locations to find water and grazing land for their goats and cattle, their primary source of income. Yet land conflicts, deadly cattle disputes with neighboring tribes and drier, more drought-prone conditions due to climate change forced the family eight years ago to sell its livestock and move into the nearby Kirisia forest , a critical ecosystem for local populations during dry seasons and droughts. Their only income was collecting and burning firewood to make charcoal — a back-breaking task that earned them about $9 a week. It was also untenable due to government crackdowns on illegal logging in the national forest which, at 226,000 acres, is larger than New York City. Today, Lonolngenje is protecting trees she once would have cut down. She is among 550 Samburu women whom […]


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