Drought conditions and management strategies in Sudan Prepared by:
- Salaheldien Tambel, Vice General Manager of Natural Resources Administration, National focal point of United Nation Convention Compact Desertification (UNCCD) email@example.com .
- Hazim Surag Mohamed, Head Training Unit, Sudan Meteorological Authority.
- Sawsan Khair Elsied Abdel Rhim Mustafa, General Director Range and Pasture General Directorate Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rangelands
During the 20th century Sudan experienced major drought. The most devastating ones were in 1913, 1940, and 1954 which covered many parts of the country. In 1913 and 1940, about 1.5 million people were affected. In the 1984, 4.5 million people went hungry.
Some of the affected people became relief-recipient and less work-oriented. Different tribes responded differently to recurring drought. Insufficient and highly variable annual precipitation is a defining feature of the climate of most of Sudan. Availability analysis of rain fall retoured from 1961 to 1990 in northern and southern Kordofan that annual precipitation ranged from 350 to 850 mm, within average annual variation of 65 percent in the northern parts of Northern Kordofan and 15 percent in the southern parts of Southern Kordofan. Annual variability and relative scarcity of rainfall in the north of Sudan in particular – have a dominant effect of agriculture and food security, and are strongly linked to displacement and related conflicts.
Drought events also change the ecosystem, as dry spells kill otherwise long lived trees and result in a general reduction of the vegetation cover, leaving land more vulnerable to overgrazing and erosion. Together with other countries in the Sahel belt, Sudan has suffered a number of long and devastating droughts in the past decades. All regions have been affected, but the worst state, particularly in the Northern Kordofan state, North states, Northern and Western Darfur, and Red Sea and White Nile states. The most severe drought occurred in 1980 – 1984, and localized famine.
Localized and less severe droughts (affecting between one and five state) were also recorded in 1967 – 1973, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993 and 2000. Isolated drought years generally have little permanent effect on the environment. In the case of central Sudan, however, the eighteen recorded years of drought within the last half – country are certain to have had a major influence on the vegetation profile and soil conditions seen in 2006. (UMEP, 2007). Drought monitoring and early warning systems Insufficient and highly variable annual precipitation is a define feature of the climate of most of Sudan. A variable analysis of rain fall records from 1961 to 1990 in Northern and Southern Kordofan found that annual precipitation ranged from 350 to 850 mm, with an average annual variation of 65 percent in the northern parts of the Northern Kordofan and 15 percent in the southern parts of Southern Kordofan. Rain gauge location Average annual rainfall (mm) 1964 - 1975 Average annual rainfall (mm) 1976 - 2005 Average annual rainfall (mm)2006 - 2013 Reduction (-) El Fasher Northern Darfur 272. 36 178.90 210.73 61-63 Nyala Southern Darfur 448.71 376.50 440.10 8.61 El Geneina Western Darfur 564. 20 427. 70 482.85 81.35 Annual variable and relative scarcity of rain fall in northern of Sudan in particular –have a dominant effect on agriculture and food security, and are strongly linked to displacement and related conflicts.
Drought events also change the environment, as dry spells kill otherwise long lived trees and result in to general reduction of the vegetation cover, leaving land more vulnerable to overgrazing and erosion. The system of the early warring used is a (Climate out Look Seasonally Forecasts) as a regional cooperation with IGAD. The Sudan climate change study conducted in the 2003 provides as solid technical basis for discussion. Moreover, a ranger of very recent regional assessments of the potential impacts of climate change, indicate good agreement with earlier work. Following is a concise of this work, to set the context for findings of UNEPs assessment. (Nur, 2007). The 2003 study select Northern and Southern Kordofan for detailed analysis: all the results presented thus related to those area only.
A baseline climate was determined using rain fall and temperature data from 1961 to 1990. A rang of global warming scenarios were then modeled to practical changes in temperature and rainfall from the baseline to the years 2030 to 2060. The climate model results indicates a 0.5 to 1.5 C rise in the average annual temperature and an approximate five percent 5% drop in rainfall, though results varied across the study area. These findings were then used to project of scale potential change in crop yields for sorghum, millet and gum arabic. The final result was alarming; the crop models show a major and potentially disastrous decline in the crop production for Northern Kordofan and lesser but significant drops further south. (UNEP, 2008).
The vulnerability to drought is partly related to social and development factors such as the tendency to maximize herd size rather than herd quality, and the lack of source water resources such deep boreholes which can be relied short – term drought. This work has focus on the demands for the internally displaced person camps because this population is placing new demands on the quilters – beyond those that history has proven they can support. However, the humanitarian imperatives demand that water securities for host communities are also addressed. Water demanded at camps is more complex than those discard in text on emergency responses such as the sphere project. This is because of the arid context in which people are used to being sparing with water demand, but also the water demands associated with livelihoods which are over and above the minimum supplies provided in an emergency context. Whilst drought preparedness at camps is rightly part of (Darfur’s emergency response) this work must not be seen in the isolation form lager scale water resource management activities, and the development of drought preparedness strategy for these communities should be seen as supporting agricultural and environmental recovery returned. This work will need to be matched by efforts on government, water supply for livelihoods and recovery planning. This needs to be part of a wider water resources strategy supporting areas of projected return and for rural populations including nomadic groups. These issues will be addressed under the integrated water resources management program. (IWRM). Study for water use for livelihoods in order to better under stand water demands at camps, assessments of water use are needed at household level. In addition to the potentially vulnerability comps other areas require strategy for water resources management. The priorities would be: Large towns on Basement Complex geology, (Nyala, EL Fasher).
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