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Children Forced To Eat Bitter Leaves In Drought-Hit Kenya

A homestead in a village in Ganze, Kilifi county in coastal Kenya/BBC

A mother of eight has told the BBC that she has been feeding her children bitter leaves from the only tree – known as Mtunguru – to survive the drought that has devastated Kilifi County in coastal Kenya.

“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,” Kahunda Shikari Kombe says.

Kahunda Shikari Kombe

Ms Kombe says they sometimes get donations of corn flour which they use to prepare a corn meal known as ugali.

Her livestock have died and she has one cow remaining.

A cow in a homestead in Kilifi, Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought a national disaster last week.

More than two million Kenyans from 13 out of 47 counties are affected.

In Kilifi, one person has died and 20 others are being treated in hospital for hunger-related complications, local authorities say.

-BBC

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