The Horn of Africa includes the countries of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Droughts constantly affect this region of Africa, and has social, political, and economical implications in vulnerability.
– Food supply
– Water supply
– Rationing leads to loss in revenues
– War between the countries in the Horn of Africa, aggravated by food and water problems.
– Lost crops = higher costs
– Dealing with drought means more money spent on water instead of relying on rain.
The people who are vulnerable in the Horn of Africa are mainly the people that are impoverished. This is because they do not have adequate financial capabilities to deal with a drought. Oftentimes food and water is scavenged, and because their supplies are based on nature, drought will eliminate water supply very quickly. This may cause unrest for those that are impoverished.
The government is also vulnerable in the Horn of Africa because of political conflicts that may arise due to the lack of rain. The drought will not only decrease water supply, but will also affect crops as well. Because in LEDCs subsistence farming is a common way to live, any fall in the supply of crops will affect the food supply for the farmers. This lack of food and water will cause some to wage war and try to get resources from surrounding countries.
People who own farms are also vulnerable, not just because of decreased food supply due to the death of crops but also because of the money they lose from the death of the crops. For farmers who do not have a lot of financial stability, the drought could be very destructive in terms of money.
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The Sahel region of Africa has been suffering from drought on a regular basis since the early 1980s. The area naturally experiences alternating wet and dry seasons. If the rains fail it can cause drought.
In addition to natural factors, the land is marginal. Human activities such as overgrazing, overcultivation and the collection of firewood can lead to desertification, particularly when combined with drought conditions.
The result is crop failure, soil erosion, famine and hunger: people are then less able to work when their need is greatest. It becomes a vicious circle and can result in many deaths, especially among infants and the elderly. In Niger in 2004, the situation was made worse when a plague of locusts consumed any remaining crops. In these cases, people rely on food aid from the international community.
On its own, food aid is unsustainable in the long term. What is really needed is development aid, which involves educating the local community in farming practices.