Human toll of desertification (Google / Ottawa Citizen)


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Op-Ed: The human toll of desertification

By Craig and Marc Kielburger, Ottawa Citizen

Nora Busienei closed her eyes and smiled as she remembered years past when her small farmhouse burst at the seams with sacks of maize, beans, millet and pumpkins.

“I would stare at our harvest. I was so happy, so confident in my children’s future,” she said, before her smile faded. “That feels like another world now.”

Today her mud hut in Pimbiniet, Kenya, is full of nothing but choking smoke from the cook fire. On the day our team visited, Busienei’s three-year-old daughter, Chelangat, sat on her lap, playfully swinging her legs. Each kick sent up a cloud of dry dirt. Busienei’s once-lush farm fields have been dry and dead for five years. The pot bubbling on the fire contains only tea — it’s all Busienei has left to feed her children.


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