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Activity 2:

To study the effects of droughts on people and areas

[lo 2.3]

1.3 Why are some people at a greater risk than others?

It is important to remember that the relationship between humans and their environment determines whether a drought will deteriorate into a disaster.

If we take another look at figure 1 (world map showing where most droughts occur), we see that droughts most often occur in the poorer, developing countries of the world. Why?

  • Because of their disadvantaged status they still believe that power lies in numbers, and that parents should have many children who can take care of the parents in the future. This leads to a great number of births and an increasing population.
  • Food is only cultivated for personal domestic use. No fertilisation takes place. Over the years the soil becomes impoverished and harvests decrease in size. Less food is produced.
  • Soil is misused over a long period and no fertiliser is added.
  • Irrigation, if available, is applied incorrectly and this exacerbates erosion.
  • Owning a herd of cattle is of great importance to these people, because to them this represents great wealth. Too many cattle are placed on a piece of land with the result that overgrazing destroys the vegetation. This leads to erosion.
  • Erosion removes the fertile topsoil, the soil becomes impoverished and production is further reduced.
  • In addition, poor people do not have access to electricity, and they have to rely on wood fires for heat. Thus many trees are destroyed for firewood. This in turn reduces the soil’s water retention capacity, which causes water to evaporate faster.

Disastrous droughts also occur in developed areas, such as the current drought in the Western Cape of South Africa. Yet the fact remains that rich people seldom die as a result of droughts. They can survive because they have other assets which can carry them through the difficult times. However, the large, rich farmers and/or companies are also sometimes destroying the environment with their enormous developments.

1.4 Preventative measures: risk management and risk reduction

When you read the newspaper, or watch or listen to the news, you will undoubtedly become aware of a drought somewhere in South Africa. Look at figure 2 again, which shows the dry areas in South Africa. It is not surprising that South Africa experiences many droughts.

Are there possible solutions to the drought problem? Although it is not always possible to carry out all the steps needed to solve the problem, we can take a look at some of the things that can be done:

  • building dams to accumulate water
  • sinking boreholes and erecting windmills
  • desalinating sea water
  • establishing water installations through the use of pipelines
  • melting icebergs
  • cloud seeding and rain making
  • population management
  • careful management of soil and water resources
  • controlling soil erosion
  • planting trees
  • attempting to reclaim soil through the use of drought-resistant seed

Activity 3:

To do a case study on a serious drought in the country

[lo 2.3]

Do a case study on a serious drought in South Africa. Compare it with the information you have gained so far, and then write an essay about:

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Geography grade 7. OpenStax CNX. Sep 09, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11021/1.1
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