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Drought and Water Crises. Science, Technology and Mgmt by D. Wilhite

By D. Wilhite

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The causes of the famine were a combination of drought and conflict. The civil war in South Sudan dates back some 40 years, and this particular province has been subjected to more than a decade of violence and looting. The 3-year drought leading up to 1998, caused by El Niño, further depleted the asset base of an already impoverished population. Coping strategies were severely stretched. However, it was the combination of drought and a number of warrelated incidents that created the famine. In 1997, there had been a fundamental shift in the war economy of the region as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) made military advances, driving out government troops and causing a collapse in trading relationships between garrisons and the local population, thus depriving the latter of a key source of livelihood.

Drought as Hazard: Understanding the Natural and Social Context 29 Wilhite, DA, MKV Sivakumar, DA Wood, eds. Early Warning Systems for Drought Preparedness and Management. Proceedings of an Experts Meeting, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2000b. Young, H, S Jaspars, R Brown, J Frize, H Khogali. Food-Security Assessments in Emergencies: A Livelihoods Approach. HPN Network Paper No. 36. London: ODI, 2001. Part II Drought and Water Management: The Role of Science and Technology 2 The Challenge of Climate Prediction in Mitigating Drought Impacts NEVILLE NICHOLLS, MICHAEL J.

Exposure to drought varies spatially, and there is little, if anything, we can do to alter drought occurrence. , agricultural, hydrological, and socioeconomic) place greater 8 Wilhite and Buchanan-Smith Decreasing emphasis on the natural event (precipitation deficiencies) Increasing complexity of impacts and conflicts Hydrological Meteorological Agricultural Socioeconomic & Political Time/duration of the event Figure 1 Natural and social dimensions of drought. ) emphasis on human or social aspects of drought, highlighting the interaction or interplay between the natural characteristics of the event and the human activities that depend on precipitation to provide adequate water supplies to meet societal and environmental demands (see Figure 1).

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