| Measuring drought and drought impacts in Red Sea Province |
|3. Drowght, food stress, and the flood and rainfall record for Red Sea Province. Roy Cole|
In this paper the flood record for 9 watersheds in Red Sea Province, 1 watershed in Kassala Province, and the records of 19 rainfall gauging stations in and around Red Sea Province were examined. The purpose of the study was:
1. To obtain a more precise understanding of the extent and nature of the drought of the early 1980s and during other periods in Eastern Region.
2. To compare information obtained from the flood record with information obtained from rainfall gauging stations around Eastern Province to see what differences and commonalities exist between the two measures of precipitation. `
3. To compare qualitative estimations about drought and food stress in the past with the flood and rainfall record.
4. To make available to policymakers, government, and other researchers the historical record for the study area.
The findings of the study indicate that prior to the 1980s, severe drought was a local phenomenon in Red Sea Province but that in the early 1980s (generally from 1983 to 1984), severe drought became general. However, precipitation and flood data show no general downward trend over time for the area of study.
It was found that the well-known famine of 1948 was not related to severe drought; it was related to economic factors. Severe drought impacts of the early 1970s were felt along the coast and mountain areas that receive winter rainfall. It is notable that the interior watersheds of record had above average flooding during the same period The interior of the province and the central Red Sea coast experienced the greatest drought impacts in 1983 and 1984, when floods as well as rains failed.