Kenya seeks divine help to end devastating drought

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“It is time that we start factoring climate change into our development plans,” Evans Mukolwe, a former head of the Kenyan and UN weather agencies, told The Associated Press. “The current drought that we warned about a few years ago has broader ramifications for socioeconomic conditions in the region, including peace, security, and political stability.”

Mukolwe added that climate change has contributed to below-average rainy seasons in the region for some three decades.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s climate center said five rainy seasons have failed since 2020, affecting more than 50 million people. The center will release its projections for the extended rainy season, typically March through May, later in February. Early projections from other weather groups are not optimistic.

All over the world, people of different religions have often sought divine intervention for rain or other favorable weather. Last summer, the archbishop of Milan made a pilgrimage to three churches in hopes of ending the country’s drought, and the governor of Utah asked citizens to pray for rain before a weekend of extreme heat.

Some Kenyans intend to heed the president’s call.

Millicent Nyambura, a business owner in Nairobi, said she supported the idea, «although it will affect my colleagues in the flower business who are hoping to boost sales on Valentine’s Day.»

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