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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 flood record

One thing is immediately clear from the flood record, interannual variability of the flood is great: with the exception of Khors Baraka, and Gash interannual variability is near or over 100%; a very risky and marginal environment. The table below, taken from the data in Appendix 3.1, presents years of drought for each watershed.

Tab. 3.4. Drought and severe drought periods for tier" floodwater source areas in or near Red Se. Province.

Source Area


Severe Drought

Interior RSP









1974, 1987


Mountain RSP









1958, 1960, 1963,

1970-71, 1980-81


1969, 1977



1961, 1965, 1970,


1983, 1985


Mountain Eritrea



1936, 1955, 1957








In the interior of the province and for Khors Baraka and Gash, which have their source in Eritrea, the 1970s were a decade of above average flooding. The major drought-affected area during the early 1980s was the interior of the province where Khor 'Arab, the agricultural and pastoral focus of many individuals for part of the year, failed to flood for two consecutive years. Khors Kass and Tahamyarn, tributaries of Khor 'Arab, present the same pattern.

Ike flood deficit in the Interior of Red Sea Province before and after the two years of complete drought created a calamity for which people were unprepared and informants in the area recalled no other similar period in their recent history except 1948, a year mentioned by many people as one of major famine and one for which we have no flood data. In addition, the Gash delta, a redoubt of pastoralism and one of the major agricultural areas for Red Sea Province, experienced a drought in 1983. Stern in

1985 estimated that there were 25000 people in camps in the Districts of Derudeb, Haya, and Sinkat. This figure represents between 6 and 9 percent of the rural population of Red Sea Province depending on which figures are used in estimating rural population in Red Sea Province (see Population and Human Geography in the Introduction). The Khor 'Arab basin drains much of two of the three districts mentioned in Stern's report.