Drought is threatening Kenya's vital tourist trade, which depends largely on the country's game parks and reserves.
GV Hartebeests walking over dry country
SCU Mr. Olindo interviewed SOUND continues over shots of dead and dying animals in and around park) (15 shots)
MR. PEREZ OLINDO: "I can say that it is serious -- in fact is very serious. We have not had the fair amount of rain expected in Nairobi Park during 1973. Our long rains in May, they fail and have very little of it. In October when we were expecting the short rains we had virtually nothing and the drought continues as you can see around here -- everything -- the tree, the grass is dry, and in fact it is so serious that the animals have started to die in the park."
REPORTER: "Mr. Olindo which animals are most affected by the drought?"
OLINDO: "We have the hartebeests and the wildebeests mostly affected, a few zebras have come in but we don't know to what extent it is going to go because we don't expect any rain for another 90 days 'til maybe the end of March of maybe April and no-one can say if we are going to have rain or not."
REPORTER: "You spoke about deaths just now. What animals have been dying in what numbers up to now?"
OLINDO: "You can see quite a lot of animals in Nairobi Park. I think we have got, we have counted now something like 200 animals. Some of them of course are the remains of normal cases like lion and so on, but there are other animals which die and are no lion eats them. I have been very surprised that no hyenas and no jackals are feeding on these animals and I can only conclude that there are a lot of them dying elsewhere.
REPORTER: "If you are not expecting rain for another 90 days that's until April. Will you expect a lot more deaths to occur?"
OLINDO: "Unfortunately it's a natural tragedy and there is nothing you can do about it really. A lot of people have come to us and say could you please do some irrigation or water the place -- you can't irrigate, there is no water and secondly even if you irrigated the effect of irrigation comes also from the condition of the atmosphere, the humidity and so on. And thirdly the economics of irrigation, the infrastructure of irrigation is not here, and fourthly if we irrigated we would change the natural environment that is the objective of National Parks in Kenya."
Experts think the drought may be part of the same pattern of changing climate that has brought famine to parts of west Africa.
Initials BB/1858 TA/AH/BB/1821
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Background: Drought is threatening Kenya's vital tourist trade, which depends largely on the country's game parks and reserves.
The most popular park is the 44 square mile (116 square kilometres) Nairobi National Park only five miles (9 kilometres) from the centre of the country's capital. A quarter of a million visitors drive through it every year but at the moment the park is littered with the bodies of hundreds of dead animals -- and no rain is expected for another ninety days.
An interview with Mr. Perez Olindo, Director of Kenya's National Parks, appears on film. A transcript follows: