Literature assessment on drought in Sudah

The purpose of this study is to review the available literature and studies relevant to the disaster of drought and desertification in Sudan.

DCG report no. 69 | Ali Abdel Kareim Hameed, Salahaddeen Abdalla Alebaid, Hashim Mohamed El Hassan, Sumaya Ismaeel Abdella and Fathia Salih Musa | November 2011


There is a considerable need and potential for the development of a wide spread, long term intervention that seeks to address the poverty in Sudan’s arid and semi-arid lands. These interventions can be addressed through a general strategy for drought, targeting all the affected states in the Sudan.

This study has come out with some recommendations beside the workshop outcomes, listed as bellow:

  • Establishment of an information base and monitoring system for regions prone to desertification and drought, including the economic and social aspects, even at local levels.
  • Creation of strong drought policies with a well-defined strategy. These policies should deal with drought as a problem in the first place and the aim should be that its negative impact must be removed. It must depend on an effective and efficient information system. Also it should regard coordination among the concerned entities as a prerequisite for achieving successful planning and implementation as well. Attention must be given to the recurring waves of drought that may end up in desertification.

  • Policy should incorporate traditional knowledge as an essential component in the planning process. Policy also should treat rural communities as partners rather than being recipients. The overall goal of policy must be to lessen the impact of drought to the minimum possible level.

  • Establishing an early warning system for drought with consideration of the following indicators:
  • - Delay of rains or poor distribution for longer periods.
    - Shrink of rainy season and stop of rains before the normal time.
    - Scarcity of water resource.
    - Increased normal weather dryness, drop in water levels in rivers and valleys and decline in the rate of feeding surface and underground water.
    - Increase in temperature.
    - Poor vegetation cover and appearance of transformed drought resistant plants.
    - Signs of soil erosion and sand movement.
  • Natural resources management through intensified soil conservation, forestation and reforestation activities.

  • Developing and strengthening integrated development programs through eradication of poverty and promotion of alternative livelihood systems in areas prone to drought. This should be achieved through community based participation and activities.

  • Developing comprehensive drought preparedness and drought relief schemes including self-help, for drought prone areas. Programs should be designed to cope with environmental refugees.

  • Encouraging and promoting popular environmental education, focusing on desertification control and management of the effects of drought.

  • Develop a comprehensive policy on livestock and range management to include pasture, compatible with forest and crop production practices.

  • Strengthen livestock extension efforts to encourage efficient management of rangeland resources by all rangeland users and managers.

  • Address the practice of grazing systems which are culturally and environmentally acceptable.

  • Raise the awareness of farmers and nomadic communities of the upsides of raising productive animals instead of large unproductive herds.

  • Rehabilitation of the Sudan Meteorological Authority (SMA) operating networks; of surface observation network, Upper Air observing network, rainfall stations and satellite receiving equipments.

  • Provide an integrated local enterprise policy which encourages small enterprise development within existence food production systems.

  • Building of women institutions and strengthen women’s development in rural societies.

  • Make use of water harvesting techniques as coping mechanisms to increase food/fodder production rates in Sudan arid lands.

  • Adoption of agro-forestry by including acacias in rainfed millet/sorghum producing areas as two course rotation system.

  • Establishment of an agro-pastoral system to incorporate livestock in crop rotation system since crop production is defined as raising of both crops and livestock in the same allocated piece of land.

  • Make use of indigenous knowledge as far as moister conservation and food preservation are concerned

  • Dissemination of different indigenous knowledge among pastoralists provides chances towards suitable pastoral economic transformations and rational use of the natural resources.

  • Establishment of a database about pastoral transformation and adaptation strategies helps in pastoral development and rational management of the natural resources in the dry lands.

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