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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

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
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 to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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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