| 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 areas like Red Sea Province where almost all economic activity is confined to watercourses, it is good practice to use rainfall data in conjunction with the flood record to obtain a better picture of the extent and severity of drought. In addition to this obvious statement, there are five statements we can make about drought in and around Red Sea Province according to the available flood and rainfall records.
1. Floods and rainfall in and around Red Sea Province are highly variable: floods being more variable than rainfall.
2. There is no general downward trend in the rainfall or flood data, however, there are local downward trends.
3. Up to the early 1980s drought was a localised phenomenon in Red Sea Province.
4. There was no severe drought in the interior areas of the province in the early 1970s according to the flood record. There was, instead, above average flooding.
5. Severe drought was felt during the early 1970s in the Red Sea Hills, an area of predominantly winter rainfall.
6. The famine of 1948 was related to war taxation, cereals price inflation, and change in the terms of trade of livestock and only peripherally related to drought.
7. The area that has experienced the greatest drought impacts in the recent past in the area of study has been the Khor 'Arab basin and its immediate neighbours in 1983 and 1984 and the coastal around Port Sudan since the early 1980s.