Kenyan children eat bitter leaves as drought bites

More than 20 people are admitted to hospital and one person has died in Kilifi in coastal Kenya as families continue to be devastated by an ongoing drought.

According to local authorities, some 250,000 locals are in a dire state.

Livestock have died as there is no pasture left.

Kahunda Shikari Kombe, a mother of eight, said she has been feeding her children with bitter leaves from the only tree – known as Mtunguru – that has survived the drought.

“It is very bitter, but we have nothing else to eat. You can stay all day and another day without eating anything. We eat these, as a way of cheating the body that it’s eaten something,” she says.

Kombe said they sometimes get donations of corn flour that they use to prepare corn meal locally known as ugali.

Her livestock have died and she only has one cow remaining.

President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought a national disaster last week. More than two million Kenyans from 13 out of 47 countries are affected.

The president directed treasury and the interior ministry to support the affected families.


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