Natural Hazards- Drought

Topics: Drought, Famine, Horn of Africa Pages: 5 (1366 words) Published: November 1, 2014
Natural Hazards
Drought
2011 East Africa Drought
The East Africa drought began in late 2010, when rains that usually fall between October and December did not arrive. The East Africa Drought affected most parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. This lack of rain continued through 2011, driving food prices to unprecedented amounts. Due to two farming seasons being missed, many could not afford to buy food and fodder from more fertile areas. Approximately 12.4 million people were facing food shortages. The United Nations declared famine on July 20th 2011 in southern regions of Bakool and Lower Shabelle in Somalia. This Drought was wide spread through East Africa, and is the worst food shortage in 60 years. Scientists believe that the drought is a clear sign of Global Warming.

Date of Occurrence:

October 2010- May 2012

Statistics:

12.4 Million affected

Place:

Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia
Worst affected: Bakool, Lower
Shabelle Regions of Somalia

Geography Assessment 1

James Kolesnyk

Natural Hazards
Drought
2000’s Australia Drought
The 2000’s Australia drought began in late 2001, when many parts of Australia recorded lowest on record rainfall. It lasted a whole 12 years. For most, it ended in 2010, but some places were still recording below average rainfall up until 2012. It is comparable to the Federation Drought, where more than half the country was effected. By the end of the drought, the rainfall deficit was at 1300mm. The drought cost the Australian Government 2.5bn in benefits to struggling farmers. This drought was said by some to be the worst in 1000 years.

Date of Occurrence:

Late 2001- 2012

Statistics:

50% Population Effected

Place:

Australia
Worst affected: Eastern and Central Australia

Geography Assessment 1

James Kolesnyk

Natural Hazards
Drought
Cause:

The cause of the 2000’s Australia Drought and East Africa Drought was changing weather patterns. In Australia, we experience the El Níno weather pattern, where dry, sinking air crosses the Pacific Ocean from South America causing a lack of precipitation build-up in the atmosphere. In East Africa, drought is caused by normal air rising, causing it to lose moisture, then descending over Africa, drying the land which it surrounds. Two years before, Africa experienced a fierce El Nína; one of the fiercest El Nína’s in 50 years. The cause of drought is very similar anywhere. It is simply the drying of air, but in Australia we have a technical name for it. The concept is very similar anywhere, but small differences change them. The difference here, is that the dry air is blown across the Pacific (Australia), and the warm air rises (causing it to dry) then it floats back down (East Africa).

Impact:

The Impact of each drought on living quality was very similar. In both droughts, the amount of water able to be used each day by each person was reduced, farming became near impossible and people lost lives due to malnourishment. Due to Australia being a developed country, relief was able to be given by the Government to those effected, lowering the number of people affected by the drought. In East Africa, governments did not have the money for relief. This meant that the 12.4 million people affected lived on only with donation support from Charities. In Australia, very few died due to the wealth of our country, and the easy access to food. East Africa does not have any of these things, meaning that the death toll was significantly higher. The death toll for East Africa was a baseline figure of 290,000. In drought, both countries experience poor crop growth, and their economic growth is reduced. Australia has the wealth and resources to get food from other parts of the world. East Africa has a lot of people to feed, and does not have any reserve supply for when times get desperate.

Geography Assessment 1

James Kolesnyk

Natural Hazards
Drought
Response: Response for droughts of this scale are usually...
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