Climate: dry with short rainy season (July-Sept)
Annual precipitation (average): 250-500mm
Daily Temperature (average): 28-30°C
Population:Doubling very 20-30 years
Agriculture: subsistence agriculture and nomadic pastoralists
Drought: continuing since 1968
1973-74: drought killed 100,000 in Sahel
1983: 5 million in Ethiopia suffered from drought
1984-91: Sudan experience three major droughts and famines 1991: Sahel rains failed again, leaving 4,28 million facing starvation 1998: problem returns to Sudan
Effects on human activity/ environment
- Sahara desert expands south. Valuable grazing land is destroyed.
- Farmers attempt to grow crops in areas of low rainfall
- People were forced to migrate south to wetter areas or towards refugee camps where water and food were available, as wells dried up, rivers failed to flood or the land was stripped of fodder.
Drought in the Sahel occurs when the normal short rainy season is delayed/postponed.
This happens when the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) cannot follow its normal northerly migration pattern.