Understanding the Drivers of Drought in Somalia: Environmental Degradation as a Drought Determinant

Drought recurrence is a persistent phenomenon in Somalia. The latest one has continued for the last three years. Although the subdued Gu rains that fell between April and May provided some temporary relive, the depressed nature of this critical precipitation means the country is still experiencing the pangs of the drought to a great extent. At least for the herding community rainfall does not mark the end of drought. Rainfall failure is traditionally viewed as primary cause of a drought shock. Furthermore, overexploitation of natural resources leading to their degradation especially the vegetation cover (trees, grass etc) is a major contributor to drought conditions. The environmental degradation is basically characterized by depleting the natural resources and environmental pollution. These basic problems are themselves driven by population growth, rising urbanization, overgrazing, deforestation, soil erosion and climate change.