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close this book Measuring drought and drought impacts in Red Sea Province
close this folder 3. Drowght, food stress, and the flood and rainfall record for Red Sea Province. Roy Cole
View the document Summary
View the document Introduction
View the document Precipitation In Red Sea Province
View the document Flood and rainfall records: problems and possibilities
View the document A definition of drought
View the document The flood record
View the document Drought and the flood record
View the document The rainfall record
View the document Drought and the rainfall record
View the document Conclusion
View the document Discussion
View the document Limitations of the study
View the document References
View the document Appendix 3.1. Annual floods for nine khors In Red Sea Province and Khor Gash in Kassala Province.
View the document Appendix 3.2. Annual flood 2 scores for nine khors in Red Sea Province and Khor Gash in Kassala Province.
View the document Appendix 3.3. Annual rainfall in mililmetres for 19 gauging stations in eastern region, Sudan.
View the document Appendix 3.4. Annual rainfall z scores for 19 gauging stations in eastern

Drought and the rainfall record

The same criteria used for defining drought for the khors is used in defining drought for rainfall. To reiterate, a drought is defined as one year in which the rainfall is equal to or greater than 1 standard deviation below the mean. or equal to or less than 20% of the mean rainfall. Severe drought, in contrast, is defined as two consecutive years where rainfall is equal to or more than 1 standard deviation below the mean, or equal to or less than 20% of the mean rainfall.

The rainfall record for all of the stations for which we have data in and around Red Sea Province are presented in Appendices 3 and 4, The table below presents drought and severe drought periods for the rainfall gauging stations for which we have data

Table 3.8. Drought and severe drought periods based on rainfall data for three geographic areas in Red Sea Province.

Area Coast

Drought

Severe Drought

'Agig

1945, 1960, 1964, 1986

 

Halaib

1958, 1969, 1982, 1984, 1988

 

Muhammed Qul*

1959

1971-73

Port Sudan

1949, 1973

1980-83, 1987-88

Suakin

1977, 1981, 1983, 1987

 

Tokar

1939, 1949, 1960, 1977, 1983

 

Interior

   

'Atbara

1914, 1918, 1926, 1935, 1941,

1912-13, 1982-84

 

1948, 1963, 1966, 1969, 1971,

 
 

1973

 

Derudeb*

1948, 1963, 1973

1983-84

Haya*

1941, 1970, 1973, 1975

1980-81

Musmar*

1948, 1960, 1973, 1980, 1982

 

Kassala

1902, 1926, 1930, 1958, 1963,

1943-44, 1984-85

 

1966, 1970, 1980, 1982

 

Tahamyam*

1919, 1948, 1971, 1980

 

Mountain

   

Arba'at

1948, 1951, 1969, 1974, 1977,

1953-57, 1980-81,

 

1987

1983-84

Erba*

1951, 1958, 1969, 1980

 

Gebeit*

1944, 1948, 1980

1971-74

Gebeit Mine*

1949, 1980

 

Sinkat*

1941, 1943, 1947, 1970, 1980

1977-78

* Incomplete record

Although the early 1970s were a period of deficit rainfall throughout sub-Saharan Africa, it is interesting that it was not registered as severe drought at the gauging stations in the Interior of Red Sea Province. There was, however, serious drought in the Mountain and Coastal zones during that time. Another interesting fact derived from the table is that there was no severe drought in the late 1940s, a recognised period of famine. This famine had little to do with drought. It was, rather, the result of war taxation of the colonies from 1939 to 1945, cereal price inflation associated with the war, and decline in the terms of trade of livestock to cereals which weakened the people of the province such that they were not able to cope with the normal variation of their environment. The same phenomenon happened in Mali in West Africa where the author did research on drought in the mid-1980s. In the Sudan, the Second World War was a boom period and a period of high commodity price inflation. Imports rose from 8,060,849 Egyptian Pounds (£E) to £E 41,966,091 from 1941 to 1451. Exports rose £E 8,895157 to £E 62,177,529 over the same period (Holt and Daly 1979). Serious problems accompanied these increases. Durra prices doubled from 1939 to 1945 and tripled from 1946 to 1948. Most northern (Nile valley) farmers benefited from the increase in farmgate prices, however, nonfarmers or those only peripherally involved in farming may have experienced a situation not unlike that experienced by many in Red Sea Province in the early 1980s.