INTERNATIONAL

Children eat bitter leaves in drought-hit Kenya

One person has died and 20 others are being treated in hospital for hunger-related complications following the drought that has devastated Kilifi County in coastal Kenya, local authorities say.

One person has died and 20 others are being treated in hospital for hunger-related complications following the drought that has devastated Kilifi County in coastal Kenya, local authorities say.

Some 250,000 people are living in dire conditions, they added. Livestock has also died as there is no pasture left.

A mother of eight, Kahunda Shikari Kombe, has told the BBC that she has been feeding her children 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.

Her livestock has 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 counties are affected.

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