NAROK, Kenya — More than 200 of Ole Saloli’s cows have died, ruining his children’s inheritance and his safety net for old age. Now he wanders miles seeking pasture for the surviving animals, his bare feet as cracked and dry as the Kenyan earth he sleeps upon. Saloli, who estimates he is around 80 years old, has seen many droughts. But he says they have gotten much, much worse since the devastation of the Mau Forest began. ‘Mau Forest was created by God to make it rain and now people are destroying it,’ Saloli said bitterly as he watched his 50 remaining cows searching for forage in the dust. The United Nations Environment Program estimates 10 million Kenyans depend on the rivers that flow out of the Mau Forest to irrigate their crops, provide electricity through hydroelectric dams, or supply water for the wild animals that draw hundreds of thousands of cash-flush tourists. But charcoal burners, loggers and farmers are felling the forest’s trees. A quarter already has been cut down, and long-simmering tensions over land, water and politics complicate the struggle to save the rest. The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that more […]

Read the Full Article