By: Zubair Hamid Parray
hen we have a drought, it can affect our communities and our environment in many different ways. Everything in the environment is connected, just like everything in our communities is connected. Each different way that drought affects us is what we call an impact of drought. Drought occurs when a region receives no or less than the average amount of rainfall leading to water shortage, failure of crops and disruption of normal activities. Various factors such as global warming, deforestation and construction of buildings have given rise to drought.
Causes: Drought is caused due to various reasons. One of the main reasons is deforestation. When there will be no trees, the water on land will evaporate at a faster rate. Similarly, it lessens the soil capacity to hold water resulting in evaporation. Moreover, lesser trees also mean lesser rainfall which eventually leads to drought.
Furthermore, as the climate is changing, the water bodies are drying up. This results in a lower flow of surface water. Therefore, when the rivers and lakes will dry out, how will the people get water? In addition, global warming is a major cause of this. The greenhouse gas emitted causes the earth’s temperature to rise. Thus, it results in higher evaporation rates. Subsequently, excessive irrigation is also a great cause of droughts. When we use water irresponsibly, the surface water dries up. As it does not get ample time to replenish, it causes drought.
Impact: Drought is a serious disaster which impacts the whole of mankind, wildlife, and vegetation greatly. Moreover, a region which experiences drought requires a lot of time to recover from the disaster. It is a severe condition which interferes with the quality and functioning of life. Most importantly, the agriculture sector suffers the most at the hands of drought. For instance, farmers face a loss of crop production, livestock production. Moreover, they experience plant disease and wind erosion. Similarly, they also have to face heavy financial losses. Their financial condition worsens and they end up in debt. This also leads to higher rates of depression and suicides.
Furthermore, wildlife also suffers. They do not get sources of water to drink from. In addition, when forest fires happen due to droughts, they also lose their habitats and life. Just like any natural disaster, droughts also result in inflation of prices. The basic products become expensive. The poor people do not get access to essential foods due to high rates. Subsequently, droughts also degrade the quality of the soil. This results in poor or no yielding of crops.
In short, drought is definitely one of the most catastrophic natural disasters. It causes loss of life, vegetation and gives rise to other deadly problems like famine. The citizens and government must join hands to prevent droughts to save thousands of lives. This joint effort can help save the world from such a catastrophe.
Types: While some areas are marked by complete absence of rain for a long period of time, others receive less than the average amount of precipitation, yet others might face drought for some part of the year – So the severity and type of drought varies from place to place and from time to time. Here is a look at the different types of droughts:
When there is a reduction in rainfall in a region for a particular period – it can be for a few days, months, seasons or year – it is said to be hit by meteorological drought. In India an area is said to be hit by meteorological drought when the annual rainfall is 75% less than the average rainfall.
Hydrological Drought: This is basically associated with the reduction in water. Hydrological droughts are often a result of two successive meteorological droughts. These are divided into two categories:
Famine: This is said to be the most severe drought situation. People in such regions do not get any access to food and there is mass starvation and devastation. The government needs to intervene in such a situation and food is supplied to these places from other places.
Socio-Economic Drought: This situation occurs when there is a decrease in the availability of food and loss of income due to the failure of crops and the social security and access to food for the people in such areas is at risk.
Conclusion: Drought is a difficult situation to deal with especially if the severity is high. Several people are affected due to drought each year. While the occurrence of drought is a natural phenomenon, we can certainly reduce the human activities that lead to such a situation. Government must also come up with effective measures to deal with its after effects.
Author is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in english literature and linguistics at Government Degree College, Sumbal. He can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org