The recent, Drought in Numbers report by United Nations (UN) has revealed that many parts of India fall under the regions that are vulnerable to drought It also states that India’s GDP reduced by 2 to 5% between 1998 and 2017 due to severe droughts in the country.
- Drought is a temporary reduction in water or moisture availability below the normal or expected amount for a specific period.
- The occurrence of substantially lower than average precipitation in a season that normally has ample precipitation in a season for the support of cereal and non-cereal crops is known as Drought.
- It includes a decline in cultivated areas and a fall in agricultural production, which leads to the slowing down of secondary and tertiary activities and a decline in purchasing power.
- It leads to damages to plant and animal species, wildlife habitat, air and water quality, forest and range fires, degradation of landscape quality, and soil erosion.
- Soil moisture, surface run-off, and groundwater table get adversely affected.
Impact on society:
- Migration of people from drought-hit areas to other areas in search of livelihood and food.
- Farmers tend to commit suicide. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka are the states having maximum farmer suicides.
- Disruption of social institutions and increase in social crimes.
- Scarcity of drinking water, food grains and hence causes famine and starvation.
- Poor health and spread of diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, and other diseases associated with malnutrition, a hunger which sometimes causes death.
Drought Prevention and Mitigation
- The drought prone area Programme (DPAP) and Desert Development Programme (DDP) have been implemented by the Government of India since 1973-74 and 1977-78, respectively.
- These programmes aim at drought-proofing and reducing desertification of delicate areas. These areas are in the arid, semi-arid, and dry-sub humid regions and are frequently affected by severe drought situations and desertification.
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