A tree lies fallen on a rangeland in Esiteti, Amboseli Kenya. In our village, Esiteti, we're seeing the clear effects of a drought. This tree used to provide shade for kids, a place for people to rest, and a spot for young cows to eat. It died prematurely as a result of the prevailing drought we are experiencing.
A group of young children playing outside during school hours.
In Esiteti, we rely on selling livestock for income, and part of this income puts our children through school.
But lately, the area has been experiencing heavy drought, and as a result our livestock have either migrated to greener pastures, or left us due to deteriorating health.
These young ones aren't able to attend school anymore, as their families can no longer afford their school fees.
A young girl stands face to face with a cow at a shared water point.
This young girl's family are drawing water for their home at a water point where cattle were also drinking.
The young girl's standoff with the cow at the shared water point is symbolic of what seems to have become a contest for a better future as the health of cattle is prioritized before other things like education.
A young boy keeps watch over a flock of young sheep near his home.
This young boy come from a big family, with many siblings. However, due to financial constraints, his father has faced the difficult decision of choosing which children to send to school. While some of his older siblings are fortunate enough to receive an education, others, like the young boy himself, find themselves unable to attend school due to the family's limited resources. In the face of these circumstances, he tasked to shepherd the sheep.
A class half filled with young students. Many parents have opted to keep their children out of school, but others are choosing to keep their children in school with arrears, fearing the months to come. As a nursery school teacher, my livelihood heavily depends on the school fees paid by these young learners' parents. But things have become tough because many families can't afford school fees anymore.
I haven't received a salary for the past five months. It's not just affecting my family but also my ability to help your loved ones and friends. Even basic things like food and decent clothes are hard to get now, and it's making life really tough for me and the people around me.
Boys playing football after school.
Pilale Rikoiyan feeds a young lamb with cooking oil.
Pilale is my mother in law. Her sheep haven't been able to produce milk for their younger ones lately, due to lack of good pasture. To keep young calves from dying, Pilalei feeds them cooking fat every three days. This is a tip, which we have learnt from our elders, who started experiencing drought a few decades ago.
A group of women follow a herd of cattle as they migrate to greener pasture.
To prevent cattle from dying, our people migrate bigger and healthier cattle to greener areas. The women in this shot are seen doing just that.
The drought, which is spanning across different parts of the country, is being felt most by us Maasai, and other pastoral communities, as we lean on the environment for our day to day livelihoods.
Often times, when people migrate with cattle through our village, they will sojourn through the night to depart the next day.
A group of women convene for a kitty contribution meeting.
Their community is facing a lot of drought related challenges, so these women have joined forces in groups of twenty to twenty-five.
They know the drought is going to last for a while, so each person puts in a small amount of money, from twenty to one hundred Kenyan shillings, into a shared fund. This way, they can buy important things, especially food like sugar.
They really value sugar because they think it gives them and their kids the energy they need, even when they can't have regular meals. By helping each other and being resourceful, these women are trying to support themselves and their families during the ongoing drought.
Three healthy calves playing.
It has been drizzling every once in a while in the beginning of this year, and the drizzling has brought some pasture. I wanted to show how healthy and even beautiful in color the calves look when there is pasture to graze on. This makes us happy and gives us hope.