Article

Living with drought in South Africa: lessons learnt from the recent El Niño drought period

Authors:
If you want to read the PDF, try requesting it from the authors.

Abstract

South Africa is prone to drought. The country recently experienced the combined effects of a severe drought and a strong El Niño event, which led to serious impacts on livelihood conditions and economic growth. By examining the State's response to drought over time, with a specific focus on responses to the current 2016 El Niño -related drought, we expose a number of ‘sticking points’ in the response to drought and the delayed action to reduce the risks to drought impacts. Complex and seemingly bureaucratic hurdles limiting action are shown to be cumbersome factors that impede and continue to frustrate effective drought response in the country. Such bureaucratic inability to enable swift and flexible responses resulted in many NGOs and civic actors stepping up to provide assistance. As demonstrated in this research, while there are response plans and key contact departments and strategies in South Africa, these have become mired down in officialdom. Some suggest the blame lies with the State itself, and its alleged poor drought risk governance that affect recovery after drought, especially in the agricultural sector. Ineffective responses are surprising given that drought is a familiar feature and given there have been several previous cases of successes in institutional response in the past.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Namibia is the most arid country in Sub-Saharan Africa and experiences periods of prolonged drought (Nijbroek et al., 2018). South Africa and its neighbors are prone to droughts often triggered by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) a system of warm sea water that passes over the Pacific approximately every ten years (Baudoin et al., 2017). Climate change will also increase the chance of natural disasters, desertification and general environmental vulnerability. ...
... The occurrence of droughts causes great distress to agriculture, food security and the economy. Losses of up to US$120,000,000,000 were recorded over a period of three decades in Europe while in Southern Africa more than 10,000,000 tons of food were required to provide relief to drought struck areas (Ahmadalipour et al., 2019;Baudoin et al., 2017). The drought period between 2012 and 2014 in Namibia, led to the government providing US$20,000,000 for relief efforts (Schnegg and Bollig, 2016). ...
... The most distressing of drought periods in South Africa occurred between 1991 and 1992. It resulted in loss of crops, economic despair and mass job loss (Baudoin et al., 2017). ...
Article
Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in the world. It provides food for the growing world populations while also creating employment opportunities. This sector, however, is greatly threatened by climate change, increased water scarcity, droughts, land degradation and poor management of resources. The state of drylands in the world raises great concern given that it largely affects third world countries particularly subsistence farmers. This raises questions with regards to the extent of drylands and the progression of land degradation and water availability. This article presents current efforts to track development of land degradation and developing systems that improve agricultural productivity in drylands. Our review finds that given the climatic and environmental threats to agricultural productivity suitable solutions such as improved research and resource management can lead to increased production for food security and even commercialization. Therefore, it is imperative to allow access to advanced technology to subsistence farmers.
... Specific to the DMA and DMP, emphases on institutional arrangements, integrated institutional capacity, disaster risk assessment and reduction planning, and response and recovery [1,2] portray the intention by government to proactively tackle drought threats through drought risk management, information management and communication, education, training, public awareness and research, as well as funding [3][4][5]. Thus, unlike many countries without adequate legislative and policy frameworks to design and coordinate drought management plans and strategies, [6] South Africa's policy environment is enabling for dealing with drought issues [5]. ...
... Specific to the DMA and DMP, emphases on institutional arrangements, integrated institutional capacity, disaster risk assessment and reduction planning, and response and recovery [1,2] portray the intention by government to proactively tackle drought threats through drought risk management, information management and communication, education, training, public awareness and research, as well as funding [3][4][5]. Thus, unlike many countries without adequate legislative and policy frameworks to design and coordinate drought management plans and strategies, [6] South Africa's policy environment is enabling for dealing with drought issues [5]. ...
... This is where both the technological advantage that SAWS provides through meteorological data projections and local surveillance (through other stakeholder-engagement) would have helped with better anticipation of the drought and its possible impacts. Although the DRMPF proposed a robust information-sharing and surveillance system, in practice what was set in motion involved a complex system of reporting between different government portfolios and stakeholders, including communities, which stalled rather than facilitated effective implementation [3,5]. The consequences were therefore dire for individuals, including PLHIV, and societies in rural KZN during the 2015 drought. ...
Article
Full-text available
In 2015, South Africa experienced one of the worst (El Niño-induced) droughts in 35 years. This affected economic activities, individual and community livelihoods and wellbeing especially in rural communities in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Drought’s direct and indirect impacts on public health require urgent institutional responses, especially in South Africa’s stride to eliminate HIV as a public health threat by 2030 in line with the UNAIDS goals. This paper draws on qualitative data from interviews and policy documents to discuss how the devastating effect of the 2015 drought experience in the rural Hlabisa sub-district of uMkhanyakude, a high HIV prevalence area, imposes an imperative for more proactive institutional responses to drought and other climate-related events capable of derailing progress made in South Africa’s HIV/AIDS response. We found that drought had a negative impact on individual and community livelihoods and made it more difficult for people living with HIV to consistently engage with care due to economic losses from deaths of livestock, crop failure, food insecurity, time spent in search of appropriate water sources and forced relocations. It also affected government institutions and their interventions. Interviewed participants’ reflections on drought-related challenges, especially those related to institutional and coordination challenges, showed that although current policy frameworks are robust, their implementation has been stalled due to complex reporting systems, and inadequate interdepartmental collaboration and information sharing. We thus argue that to address the gaps in the institutional responses, there is a need for more inclusive systems of drought-relief implementation, in which government departments, especially at the provincial and district levels, work with national institutions to better share data/information about drought-risks in order to improve preparedness and implementation of effective mitigation measures.
... In 2015, South Africa declared a national state of disaster due to the devastating effects of the El Niño-related drought being experienced across the country (Mare et al., 2018). Insufficient rainfall and extended dry spells caused widespread economic and livelihood disruption resulting in massive importation of food crops (like maize) to bridge resultant production shortfalls (Baudoin et al., 2017;Mare et al., 2018;Quinn et al., 2011). The ensuing disruptions impacted the health, wellbeing, and the quality of life of people, including PLHIV. ...
... Many South African studies on droughts, including the 2015 event, have examined the individual and country-level impacts on commercial as well as subsistence farmers (Mare et al., 2018;Mthembu and Zwane, 2017;Quinn et al., 2011). Some also critique drought planning, risk management policy implementation and relief systems, but with minimal outlook towards a drought-health (and illness) nexus (Baudoin et al., 2017;Mare et al., 2018;Mthembu and Zwane, 2017). The limited literature on health impacts has focused on farmers' economic losses (Bahta et al., 2016;Hlahla and Hill, 2018;Quinn et al., 2011) and associated pain, anguish and possible mental (dis)stressincluding stress of debt servicing culminating in cases of suicide and psychiatric hospitalisations (Mare et al., 2018). ...
... South Africa and indeed this northern KZN has recorded data on drought dating back to 1900 Richard, 2003, 2005), but the 2015 El-Nino-related drought was one of the worst in recent history (Baudoin et al., 2017;Corke and Whittles, 2015). This is because it combined components of all four kinds of droughtreduced average rainfall, depletion of groundwater reservoir and freshwater, destruction of agricultural production and lasted longer than 6 months to a year (Baudoin et al., 2017;Corke and Whittles, 2015;Stanke et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
The 2015 El Niño-triggered drought in Southern Africa caused widespread economic and livelihood disruption in South Africa, imposing multiple physical and health challenges for rural populations including people living with HIV (PLHIV). We examined the economic, social and demographic impacts of drought drawing on 27 in-depth interviews in two cohorts of PLHIV in Hlabisa, uMkhanyakude district, KwaZulu-Natal. Thematic analysis revealed how drought-enforced soil water depletion, dried-up rivers, and dams culminated in a continuum of events such as loss of livestock, reduced agricultural production, and insufficient access to water and food which was understood to indirectly have a negative impact on HIV treatment adherence. This was mediated through disruptions in incomes, livelihoods and food systems, increased risk to general health, forced mobility and exacerbation of contextual vulnerabilities linked to poverty and unemployment. The systems approach, drawn from interview themes, hypothesises the complex pathways of plausible networks of impacts from drought through varying socioeconomic factors, exacerbating longstanding contextual precarity, and ultimately challenging HIV care utilisation. Understanding the multidimensional relationships between climate change, especially drought, and poor HIV care outcomes through the prism of contextual vulnerabilities is vital for shaping policy interventions.
... Global assessments focused on drought risk of impacts on agriculture have shown that southern Africa is at particularly high risk (Carrão et al., 2016;Meza et al., 2020). South Africa is recognized as a drought-prone country (Baudoin et al., 2017;Gibberd et al., 1996;Jordaan et al., 2017a) that has experienced several "severe" drought events (as occurred in early 1980s and 1990s, the period 2014-16 (Baudoin et al., 2017), and the recent ongoing drought since 2018 (Mahlalela et al., 2020). During these years, environmental and socioeconomic factors in the agricultural system of South Africa were impacted by the drought, creating cascading pressures on the nation's agro-economic and water supply systems. ...
... Global assessments focused on drought risk of impacts on agriculture have shown that southern Africa is at particularly high risk (Carrão et al., 2016;Meza et al., 2020). South Africa is recognized as a drought-prone country (Baudoin et al., 2017;Gibberd et al., 1996;Jordaan et al., 2017a) that has experienced several "severe" drought events (as occurred in early 1980s and 1990s, the period 2014-16 (Baudoin et al., 2017), and the recent ongoing drought since 2018 (Mahlalela et al., 2020). During these years, environmental and socioeconomic factors in the agricultural system of South Africa were impacted by the drought, creating cascading pressures on the nation's agro-economic and water supply systems. ...
... South Africa has extensive disaster risk reduction (DRR) legislation (e.g. the National Disaster Management Act, 2002), which has evolved over the decades (Vogel and Van Zyl, 2016 (Baudoin et al., 2017). Efforts to implement risk reduction approaches are also supported through global frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for DRR (UNDRR, 2015), and various reporting commitments to international organizations (e.g. ...
Article
Full-text available
The regular drought episodes in South Africa highlight the need to reduce drought risk by both policy and local community actions. Environmental and socioeconomic factors in South Africa's agricultural system have been affected by drought in the past, creating cascading pressures on the nation's agro-economic and water supply systems. Therefore, understanding the key drivers of all risk components through a comprehensive risk assessment must be undertaken in order to inform proactive drought risk management. This paper presents, for the first time, a national drought risk assessment for irrigated and rainfed systems, that takes into account the complex interaction between different risk components. We use modeling and remote sensing approaches and involve national experts in selecting vulnerability indicators and providing information on human and natural drivers. Our results show that all municipalities have been affected by drought in the last 30 years. The years 1981–1982, 1992, 2016 and 2018 were marked as the driest years during the study period (1981–2018) compared to the reference period (1986–2015). In general, the irrigated systems are remarkably less often affected by drought than rainfed systems; however, most farmers on irrigated land are smallholders for whom drought impacts can be significant. The drought risk of rainfed agricultural systems is exceptionally high in the north, central and west of the country, while for irrigated systems, there are more separate high-risk hotspots across the country. The vulnerability assessment identified potential entry points for disaster risk reduction at the local municipality level, such as increasing environmental awareness, reducing land degradation and increasing total dam and irrigation capacity.
... In South Africa, ex-ante drought management has evolved over time spanning from disaster risk reduction (DRR) legislations (i.e. National Disaster Management Act 57, 2002) (Vogel and van Zyl, 2016) to policy documents, assessments and strategies (i.e. the 2004 National Climate Change Response Strategy, the 2010 National Climate Change Response Green Paper and the 2011 National Climate Change Response) (Baudoin et al., 2017). According to South Africa's Drought Management Plan (Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), 2005), the country's ex-ante approach to drought management was aligned with the objectives of the National Disaster Management Act, which included the creation of effective awareness and preparedness in the agricultural sector, redefining roles of drought assistance programmes, clarifying and emphasising responsibilities of the government and all stakeholders. ...
... However, these ex-ante strategies have not been effective (Wilhite and Knutson, 2008). Baudoin et al. (2017) and Makaya et al. (2020) largely associated failures of ex-ante approaches to lack of financial resources and skilled human capital to manage drought. These challenges have raised concerns over the availability of relevant knowledge and skills on drought management among farmers and agricultural professionals including extension officers and scientists (Terblanché, 2013;Baudoin et al., 2017). ...
... Baudoin et al. (2017) and Makaya et al. (2020) largely associated failures of ex-ante approaches to lack of financial resources and skilled human capital to manage drought. These challenges have raised concerns over the availability of relevant knowledge and skills on drought management among farmers and agricultural professionals including extension officers and scientists (Terblanché, 2013;Baudoin et al., 2017). The current review, therefore, explores implications of drought on agricultural skills in South Africa. ...
Article
Full-text available
Drought is an inevitable feature of South Africa's climate. Its slow onset and recurrence threaten livelihoods dependent on agriculture. Responses to drought have mostly been ex-post impact management with little ex-ante resilience building in vulnerable areas. Implementation of ex-ante strategies has been severely challenged by lack of skilled human capital to predict and respond timely and effectively to the impacts of drought, particularly in smallholder farming areas. Human capital development, should therefore, be prioritised as a key drought management strategy. In this regard, it is important to determine farmers and agricultural professionals’ current and future needs for capacity development in drought management. This is important given that drought is projected to increase risks and introduce new ones with far more devastating impacts on agriculture. The current review outlines the implications of drought on agricultural skills in South Africa and the way forward.
... A mid reach gauging station recorded the mean monthly discharge (45 year mean monthly discharge in brackets; DWS, 2021) to be 0.036 m 3 /s in April 2017 (0.964 m 3 /s), 0.014 m 3 /s in June 2017 (0.075 m 3 /s), 0.297 m 3 /s in November 2017 (1.009 m 3 /s), and 0.022 m 3 /s in March 2018 (3.453 m 3 /s). The present study period coincided with a below average rainy season caused by an El Niño event (Baudoin et al., 2017), together with over abstraction of water from the system, resulted in dry sampling sites (Sites 1 and 2 during the November survey and Site 2 during the March survey). At each site, in situ water quality variables were recorded which included dissolved oxygen (DO), electrical conductivity (EC), oxygen saturation, pH, temperature and total dissolved solids (TDS) (ExStik II EC500 and ExStik II DO600, Extech Instruments). ...
... The Diptera increased from Site 1 towards Site 4 and reflects the increase in anthropogenic activities (Clements, 2004;Bere et al., 2016;Dalu et al., 2017b;Mabidi et al., 2017) downstream of Site 1. The decrease in the four macroinvertebrate orders (Ephemeroptera, Odonata, Trichoptera, Diptera) can be attributed to decreased water volumes (Baudoin et al., 2017) as recorded during the early high flow survey (November 2017) due to the delayed onset of the summer rainy season. These four orders made up 80-92% of the total community structures at all four sites, thus the most abundant orders sampled at all of the sites. ...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic macroinvertebrates are considered effective bioindicators of ecosystem health due to their different sensitivities to habitat alteration and pollution. Macroinvertebrate community structures can be assessed using commonly used diversity-based approaches, however, functional trait-based approaches are increasingly introduced into bioassessments. The Hex River is subjected to intensive mining activities, while urban and industrial effluents, as well as treated and untreated sewage also contributes to pollution in the river. The present study aimed to assess macroinvertebrate responses to different stressors (nutrient and chemical, especially metal pollutants), determine whether diversity-based or trait-based approaches provide a better indication of responses and, to evaluate the relationship between metal bioaccumulation and macroinvertebrate responses to this multi-stressor environment. The mining impacts, in combination with urban, industrial and sewage effluent, altered the macroinvertebrate community structure of the Hex River. The species richness significantly decreased from reference conditions (39 species) to impacted conditions (24 species), while the total number of individuals in tolerant species gradually increased. The diversity-based approach indicated a clear difference between reference and impacted conditions but did not clearly differentiate between different stressors, while the trait-based approach distinguished the urban, industrial and sewage effluent sites from mining impacted sites. The use of both approaches is, therefore, recommended as both complement each other. From the present study, it is evident that macroinvertebrates can be considered as both reliable accumulation-, and response bioindicators to pollution from mining, as well as urban and industrial activities.
... Also, more than 40 000 cattle died in 2015 as a result of drought in KwaZulu-Natal, with an increase in slaughter rates towards the end of the year (Agri SA 2016). What is not surprising is that South Africa is a semi-arid nation due to limited annual average rainfall (< 500 mm) (Baudoin et al. 2017, Elum et al. 2017. It is also estimated that 1.3 million hectares of farmland are irrigated, making South Africa the largest 'irrigation country' in the southern African region (DEA 2017). ...
... Thus, the lack of irrigation facilities, changing weather patterns, lack of access to improved species and diseases have combined to undermine food production. This finding aligns with the literature (Baudoin et al. 2017, Elum et al. 2017, which suggests that rainfall has severely decreased in South Africa. Orimoloye et al. (2021a) highlighted that low vegetation abundance and high temperatures were experienced in several regions of Sub-Saharan Africa in 2000, 2008 and 2009. ...
Article
Climate variability has adversely compromised food production in South Africa, with severe consequences for the livelihood of smallholder farmers. However, the extent to which adaptation has enabled rural farmers to continue earning their livelihoods has received limited attention. This paper addresses this knowledge gap by examining the constraints faced in food production and the coping strategies adopted by these farmers in responding to climate variability and change. A mixed research approach (primary and secondary) was used to obtain data from the municipalities of Capricorn and uMshwati in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, South Africa. Structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews were used to obtain primary data, while internet, libraries and organizational reports were consulted to obtain secondary data. Results showed that rain-fed agriculture was the most common type of farming (60%), compared to irrigation farming (40%). Furthermore, 25% (8/30 respondents) of smallholder farmers practising mixed cropping had been involved in agriculture for more than a decade. Smallholder farmers have adopted mitigating strategies ranging from social adjustments at the household level and combining food production with off-farm activities to sustain their livelihoods and overall wellbeing. This study argues that an enabling environment will facilitate the ability of rural farmers to adapt to climate variability in the local context and present beneficial socio-economic dynamics within the small-scale agricultural food production sector.
... This was followed by 46 a tropical continental low in 2013 which also caused floods in the lowveld. More recently, 47 the 2015/16 El Nino drought season has become the hottest drought period on record and 48 one of the driest, accounting for significant damage to livelihoods and economic develop-49 ment [7,8]. In this district, the impact of this drought event was greatest on the eastern 50 lowveld. ...
... Rainfall is important for renewal of the global energy and water cycle, precise infor-105 mation about precipitation reaching the land surface is crucial for freshwater assessment 106 and drought risk reduction [18,7]. Due to the absence of a long-term meteorological sta-107 tion records in the district, the Global Precipitation Climatology Center (GPCC) monthly 108 rainfall data was obtained from the NCEP/NCAR through internet-based KNMI Climate 109 Explorer tool (https://climexp.knmi.nl/start.cgi). ...
Article
Full-text available
Mopani District Municipality in the northeast of South Africa is largely semi-arid and frequently affected by meteorological droughts. The recent 2015/16 event had devastating impacts on water levels, crop yields, livestock herds and rural livelihoods. We investigated the nature of the drought hazard; its impacts, including vulnerability of rural communities in Mopani District and adaptation strategies they have employed to cope with drought. A mixed methods approach with both quantitative and qualitative datasets was used. The district was divided into two distinct climatic areas: the drier eastern lowveld and the wetter western bushveld. Questionnaires were administered among community members whilst key informant interviews were conducted among relevant government and municipal officials. Climate data was used to characterize historical drought using a Standardized Precipitation and Evapotranspiration Index whilst vegetation anomaly maps were used to demonstrate impacts. Spatially distinct patterns of drought conditions were evident with harsh and dry conditions towards the east. It was found that nearly half the time there is some form of drought or another in the district mostly linked to the remote El Nino phenomenon. In several areas, rain-fed agriculture is no longer tenable, with a direct impact on rural livelihoods. A Household Vulnerability Index determined variable levels of vulnerability such that different strategies are employed to adapt to drought some of which cause environmental problems. Local government intervention strategies include supply of seeds and fertilisers, providing cheap fodder and supplying water using trucks. The findings of this study contribute to disaster risk reduction efforts in a region that is highly vulnerable to current and future climate-risks.
... A leading cause of degradation in saline lakes is the alteration to the frequency and volume of water inflow (hydrological regime) as this can affect water salinity, by causing either a severe increase (salinization) or decrease thereof, and consequently the biodiversity, community structure and functioning of these unique ecosystems (Williams, 2002;Zimmerman-Timm, 2007;Moore, 2016;Wurtsbaugh et al., 2017;de Necker et al., 2021). Saline lakes are thus threatened by climatic events, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), as these bring about severely decreased rainfall and supra-seasonal droughts (SSD) in countries of the Southern Hemisphere (Black and Karoly, 2016;Baudoin et al., 2017). Droughts, due to climate change and anthropogenic impacts, are one of the most devastating phenomena that affect natural ecosystems and these disturbances have increased in frequency and intensity (Ojha et al., 2021). ...
... A strong ENSO event took place over South Africa between 2015 and 2016, which led to below-average rainfall and a concurrent supraseasonal drought across the country (Baudoin et al., 2017;Acosta et al., 2020;de Necker et al., 2020ade Necker et al., , 2020b. Due to severely decreased dam levels, only base ecological flows were released from the Pongolapoort Dam and no controlled floods. ...
Article
Climate change and associated droughts threaten the ecology and resilience of natural saline lakes globally. There is a distinct lack of research regarding their ecological response to climatic events in the Global South. This region is predicted to experience climatic events such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) more often and with greater severity with the potential to alter the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems significantly. From 2015 to 2016 South Africa experienced one of the most severe country-wide droughts as a result of a strong ENSO event. Our study aimed to investigate the effect of this supra-seasonal drought on the trophic structure of fish communities in a naturally saline shallow lake of a Ramsar wetland using stable isotope techniques. Fishes and potential basal sources were collected from the lake, during predrought conditions in 2010 and after severe drought (recovery phase; 2017). The δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N values of food web elements were determined and analysed using Bayesian mixing models and Bayesian Laymen metrics to establish the proportional contribution of C3 and C4 basal sources to the fish (consumer) diets, and examine the fish community in terms of isotopic niche and trophic structure, respectively. Fish consumers relied predominantly on C3 basal sources in the predrought and shifted to greater reliance on C4 basal sources, decreased isotopic niche space use and a reduction in trophic length in the recovery phase. Drought altered the type and abundance of the basal sources available by limiting sources to those that are more drought-tolerant, reducing the trophic pathways of the food web with no significant alterations in the fish community. These results demonstrate the resilience and biological plasticity of Lake Nyamithi and its aquatic fauna, highlighting the importance of freshwater inflow to saline lakes with alterations thereof posing a significant threat to their continued functioning.
... The autecology of periphyton in relationship with certain selected water quality variables was the selected target indicator in the current study and was subsequently applied to determine the treatment response of the wetland after a severe dry spell in 2016. One of the worst droughts on record in the selected study area was the drought of 2016 [29]. Periphyton, in relationship with water quality variables, was selected as an indicator based on a report by Wehr and Sheath [30] that found the representation of algae, as the primary producer biomass in wetland systems, was between 30 and 50%. ...
... Evidence collected from the ecologically engineered Grootspruit wetland during the 2016 drought-as one of the worst droughts on record for the Mpumalanga province, South Africa [29]-suggested that the loss of ecological functions and the resultant regime change during the drought period was a consequence of the interplay between chemical, physical, and biological processes as observed between the different sampling trips from early 2015 to 2018. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Grootspruit valley bottom wetland in South Africa, due to the impact of acid mine drainage (AMD) from an abandoned coal mine, was severely degraded before ecologically engineered interventions, as a passive treatment process, in 2014. The surface water flow of the wetland was redirected using concrete structures to enlarge the surface area of the wetland by 9.4 ha and to optimize passive treatment. Although the ecologically engineered interventions showed an improvement in water quality after the rewetting of the enlarged wetland areas, the 2016 drought had a devastating effect on the wetland’s water quality. Limited natural removal of metals and sulfate concentrations by the wetland occurred during the 2016 drought, when compared with the 2015 pre-drought conditions. This period showed higher concentrations of metals, sulfate (SO42−), and electrical conductivity (EC) associated with the acidic surface water. Of particular interest was an observation of a substantial shift in pollutant-tolerant algae species in the ecologically engineered wetland outflow between the years 2015 and 2016. During the dry spell period of 2016, the diatoms Gyrosigma rautenbachiae (Cholnoky), Craticula buderi (Brebisson), and Klebsormidium acidophilum (Noris) were observed at the outflow. The latter species were not observed during the wetland surveys of 2015, before the dry spell. From late 2017 onwards, after the drought, environmental conditions started improving. In 2018, periphyton indicator species and the surface water quality were comparable to the wetland’s recorded status pre-2016. The study revealed not only a regime shift, but also an ecological function loss during the drought period of 2016, followed by recovery after the dry spell. A distinct reduction in SO42−, sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg), EC, manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), silicon (Si), aluminum (Al), and pH, following the 2016 drought, highlights the utilization of water quality variables to not only assess the passive treatment responses of an ecologically engineered wetland, but also the progress relating to ecological recovery.
... According to Wilhite et al [15,21] the protection section entails four key factors which are preparedness for potential drought occurrence, development of mitigation strategies, using drought analysis tools for prediction and early warning to minimise the extent of disaster. Recovery factors are centred on conducting impact assessment, development of recovery strategies [21,23] . Thus, the application of SPI in establishment of drought start to cessation period and describing meteorological drought conditions. ...
... SPI is a popular meteorological drought index, which is based on precipitation data [4,10] . This statement is supported by the aims of National Disaster Management Center [21] , National Agrometeorological Committee [22] , National Drought Mitigation Center [4] , Global Assessment on Disaster Risk Reduction [23] on indices, the goal is to determine the extent of drought and the best meteorological index and then develop adaptation strategies that all national meteorological services used standardised index [24] . The SPI would be used to make comparisons in drought extent and severity among districts, regions and countries, whereby, 30 to 50 years precipitation record is required and recommended for thorough statistical analysis [12,24] . ...
Article
Extreme weather events have led to the collapse of food production systems, agricultural ecosystems, disruption of food systems causing food insecurities. The contrary effects of climate variability and change, refer to flooding, heat waves, frost, nevertheless this study examine drought, which occurs frequently in the Free State province where Kestel automatic weather station is located. The application of drought index analysis is required for drought assessment for decision making on adaptation and mitigation strategies on farm level. Understanding of drought severity and frequency plays a significant role in decision-making. For this study to analyse drought, Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI) in an index to characterise rainfall deficit for multiple time scales. Drought episodes has been experience at the study area, with 2015 recorded the severe drought occurrence. Thus, drought assessment is crucial to determine the duration and the frequency of episodes. The analysis indicate that severe drought occurred in 2015 with the value of drought index at SPI-1 (-1,5) in 1990, (-1,8) in 1993, (-1,6) in 1997, (-1.64) in 2001, and (-1.2) in 2007. SPI-3 the index value was (-1,8) in 2000, (-1,5) in 2002, (-2,2) in 2007, and (-1,3) in 2013. SPI-6 the index value ranged from (-,30 to -0,32) in 1992-1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2019. SPI-9 the index value ranged from -1,08 to -1,15) in 1990, 1999, 2008, 2010 and 2019. SPI-12 (-1,3) in 1990, (-1,74) in 1992, (-1,97) in 2005 and (-3,02) in 2015. The results highlights the significance of the use of drought identification, its severity and impact of agricultural production. Characterisation of drought severity guides users for the implementation of drought relief policies and measures at farm level in Kestel area. Keywords: standard precipitation index, drought, agriculture, decision making
... Selecting these basins as case regions helps underscore the generality of the proposed approach. Moreover, these basins suffer from frequent droughts in recent decades that can provide enough drought events for the validation of the approach (Baudoin et al., 2017;He et al., 2017;Masih et al., 2014). ...
... 12 of 20 Located in the southern African region, ORB is naturally prone to droughts (Masih et al., 2014). In 2015 and 2016, ORB experienced a severe drought triggered by warm sea surface temperature anomalies (Baudoin et al., 2017). The drought initiated in western basin in September 2015 as indicated by observations and predictions (Figures 11 and S14), while in the next month it propagated to the entire basin with increase of drought probability. ...
Article
Full-text available
While reliable drought prediction is fundamental for drought mitigation and water resources management, it is still a challenge to develop robust drought prediction models due to complex local hydro-climatic conditions and various predictors. Sea surface temperature (SST) is considered as the fundamental predictor to develop drought prediction models. However, traditional models usually extract SST signals from one or several specific sea zones within a given time span, which limits full use of SST signals for drought prediction. Here, we introduce a new meteorological drought prediction approach by using the antecedent SST fluctuation pattern (ASFP) and machine learning techniques (e.g., support vector regression (SVR), random forest (RF), and extreme learning machine (ELM)). Three models (i.e., ASFP-SVR, ASFP-ELM, and ASFP-RF) are developed for ensemble, probability, and deterministic drought predictions. The Colorado, Danube, Orange, and Pearl River basins with frequent droughts over different continents are selected, as the cases, where standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) are predicted at the 1° × 1° resolution with 1- and 3-month lead times. Results show that the ASFP-ELM model can effectively predict space-time evolutions of drought events with satisfactory skills, outperforming the ASFP-SVR and ASFP-RF models. Our study has potential to provide a reliable tool for drought prediction, which further supports the development of drought early warning systems.
... This finding is similar to previous research conducted in KNP and other South African reserves [6,[48][49][50][51]. Also, the unusually dry season during the study (El Nino 2015-2017) [52,53] might have caused prey specialisation to occur as a result of prey congregation [54]. The presence of hares was also associated with the detection of the feline carnivore group (lion, leopard, cheetah, and serval), and this is consistent with a kill site study in the Kalahari that reported leopard hunting scrub hare [55]. ...
Article
Full-text available
South African protected areas account for 8% of the total landmass according to World Bank indicators. Effective conservation of biodiversity in protected areas requires the development of specific reserve management objectives addressing species and disease management. The primary objective of the current study was to identify predictors of carnivore detection in an effort to inform carnivore species management plans on Andover and Manyeleti nature reserves in South Africa. A limited number of camera traps were placed randomly using a grid system. Species detection data were analysed using mixed-effects logistic regression and Spearman’s correlation coefficients. Deterministic inverse distance weighted distribution maps were used to describe the spatial distribution of carnivore species. Camera traps identified similar species as traditional call-up surveys during the study and would be useful as an adjunct census method. Carnivore detection was associated with several variables, including the presence of specific prey species. The measured intra-and interspecies interactions suggested the risk of disease transmission among species, and vaccination for prevalent diseases should be considered to manage this risk.
... South Africa, situated at the descending branch of the Hadley circulation, is prone to drought (Baudoin et al. 2017). However, the 1992 drought episode in South Africa is characterized as one of the most severe in history (Glantz et al. 1997;Mason and Tyson 2000). ...
Article
Full-text available
During strong El Niño events, below-average rainfall is expected in large parts of southern Africa. The 1992 El Niño season was associated with one of the worst drought episodes in large parts of South Africa. Using reanalysis data set from NCEP-NCAR, this study examined circulation types (CTs) in Africa south of the equator that are statistically related to the El Niño signal in the southwest Indian Ocean and the implication of this relationship during the 1992 drought episode in South Africa. A statistically significant correlation was found between the above-average Nino 3.4 index and a CT that features widespread cyclonic activity in the tropical southwest Indian Ocean, coupled with a weaker state of the south Indian Ocean high-pressure. During the analysis period, it was found that the El Niño signal enhanced the amplitude of the aforementioned CT. The impacts of the El Niño signal on CTs in southern Africa, which could have contributed to the 1992 severe drought episode in South Africa, were reflected in (i) robust decrease in the frequency of occurrence of the austral summer climatology pattern of atmospheric circulation that favors southeasterly moisture fluxes, advected by the South Indian Ocean high-pressure; (ii) modulation of easterly moisture fluxes, advected by the South Atlantic Ocean high-pressure, ridging south of South Africa; (iii) and enhancement of the amplitude of CTs that both enhances subsidence over South Africa, and associated with the dominance of westerlies across the Agulhas current. Under the ssp585 scenario, the analyzed climate models suggested that the impact of radiative heating on the CT significantly related to El Niño might result in an anomalous increase in surface pressure at the eastern parts of South Africa.
... Another factor to consider is that, since 2015, South Africa has experienced severe drought, accompanied by stringent water restrictions. One can expect that these conditions have effects, directly or indirectly, on firms' employment decisions across the economy (Baudoin et al., 2017). For example, water restrictions may have hindered the hospitality industry because hotels or restaurants had to reduce how much water they used. ...
Article
Climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events, such as drought and heat waves. In this paper, we assess the impact of drought and high temperatures on the employment outcomes of working–age individuals in South Africa between 2008 and 2017. We merge high-resolution weather data with detailed individual-level survey data on labor market outcomes. We estimate causal impacts using a fixed effects framework. We find that increases in the occurrence of drought reduce overall employment. These effects are concentrated in the tertiary sector, amongst informal workers, and in provinces with a higher reliance on tourism. Taken together, our results suggest that the impacts of climate change will be felt unequally by South Africa’s workers.
... One region that may significantly benefit from improved seasonal climate forecasts, especially for hydrological variables like TWS, is Africa. Africa is one of the most food insecure regions in the world (Clover 2003;Thompson et al. 2010) and populations across the continent are especially vulnerable to climate extremes, including heat waves (Burkart et al. 2014;Harrington and Otto 2020;Schultz and Mankin 2019), droughts (Ayanlade et al. 2018;Baudoin et al. 2017;Gebremeskel Haile et al. 2019;Otto et al. 2018), and floods (Adelekan 2015;Davis-Reddy et al. 2017;Di Baldassarre et al. 2010). Subseasonal and seasonal forecasts of precipitation and temperature are valuable tools for helping regions anticipate and prepare for such events. ...
Article
Terrestrial water storage (TWS) provides important information on terrestrial hydroclimate and may have value for seasonal forecasting because of its strong persistence. We use the NASA Hydrological Forecast and Analysis System (NHyFAS) to investigate TWS forecast skill over Africa and assess its value for predicting vegetation activity from satellite estimates of leaf area index (LAI). Forecast skill is high over East and Southern Africa, extending up to 3–6 months in some cases, with more modest skill over West Africa. Highest skill generally occurs during the dry season or beginning of the wet season when TWS anomalies from the previous wet season are most likely to carry forward in time. In East Africa, this occurs prior to and during the transition into the spring “Long Rains” from January–March, while in Southern Africa this period of highest skill starts at the beginning of the dry season in April and extends through to the start of the wet season in October. TWS is highly and positively correlated with LAI, and a logistic regression model shows high cross-validation skill in predicting above or below normal LAI using TWS. Combining the LAI regression model with the NHyFAS forecasts, 1-month lead LAI predictions have high accuracy over East and Southern Africa, with reduced but significant skill at 3-month leads over smaller sub-regions. This highlights the potential value of TWS as an additional source of information for seasonal forecasts over Africa, with direct applications to some of the most vulnerable agricultural regions on the continent.
... As climate change becomes more prevalent due to increasing global temperatures, rainfall is expected to become progressively more extreme, leading to a rise in both droughts and floods globally. This attributed to the 'El Nino' weather pattern seen in South Africa in 2015, and which culminated in the worst prolonged drought the country has experienced since at least the 1940s (Baudoin et al. 2017). Average dam levels decreased from 93% in early 2014 to a low of 48% in November 2016. ...
Article
Full-text available
Water features prominently in discussions on sustainability. The recent Cape Town ‘Day Zero’ drought heightened fears about global cities running dry as the climate changes. During that crisis a campaign was launched to save water at schools, consisting of a basic maintenance campaign and a behavioural campaign. The former was limited to easy fixes, and the latter comprised an information campaign and an information and competition campaign. The impacts of these were assessed immediately after the interventions. This paper revisits the maintenance results by assessing the difference in responses according to affluence levels of the schools, and by evaluating the impacts one year after the campaigns. We find that the poorer schools were not able to sustain the maintenance gains, especially at the primary schools. HIGHLIGHTS Assessed impact of a maintenance campaign at Cape Town schools during ‘Day Zero’ drought.; Short- and long-term impact – a year later – are evaluated.; School affluence is evaluated as a factor in the effectiveness of the maintenance campaign.; Short-term impact was greater at poor schools, but gains diminished a year later.; Affluent schools benefitted from a lower base in the short term, and maintained gains better.;
... The World Meteorological Organization (WMO 2012) categorizes drought into three types: hydrological droughts, agricultural droughts, and meteorological droughts (Smith and Fitchett 2020). These extreme weather conditions induced by droughts are becoming increasingly regular in southern Africa as a result of climate change (Unganai and Murwira 2010;Baudoin et al. 2017). Although less destructive to infrastructure than storm events such as tropical cyclones (Fitchett et al. 2016a), droughts pose a threat to tourism destinations through a reduction in the destination image, obstruction to key attractions, and restrictions on water use (Giddy et al. 2017a;Fitchett and Hoogendoorn 2019;Smith and Fitchett 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
The tourism sector plays a major role in the economic development of a number of countries in the Global South, particularly Southern Africa. One such country is Zimbabwe, which struggles with significant economic hardships and relies heavily on the tourism sector. The Victoria Falls, a key tourism attraction of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River was the subject of a plethora of news articles published between November 2019 and January 2020. The media suggested that the world`s largest waterfall had dried up due to climate change induced drought. These reports arose during the dry season and were thus arguably ill-founded and downplayed the natural seasonal characteristics of the Zambezi River. This paper presents content analysis of these media articles and the phenomenological qualitative data analysis of interviews conducted with tourism operators in Victoria Falls. Although some of the articles published within this period strived for accurate reporting, some articles claimed that the Victoria Falls was dry, which was inconsistent with experiences of tourism operators. This inaccurate reporting is argued by the tourism operators to have negatively affected the tourism sector and destination image of the key attraction. This paper highlights the need for accurate science-based media reporting on weather, climate, climate change and the knowledge of the local tourism stakeholders within the tourism sector.
... The dams in the North West and Free State provinces recorded low storage and this was an indication of deficient rainfall that had led to dry conditions (Department of Water Affairs SA 2014). In 2015-2016, South Africa's agricultural activities were threatened by a severe drought which was caused by an El Nino weather system that swept across southern Africa (Baudoin et al 2017). In 2020, Botai et al (2020) reported that five of the most economically active provinces of South Africa were recovering from the severe drought, which had caused negative socioeconomic impacts. ...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing scarcity of freshwater resources and growing environmental awareness have given rise to the use of treated wastewater as an additional source of water supply. However, the amount of wastewater that can be reclaimed for reuse is subject to many factors, ranging from technical to socio-economic, environmental and institutional. This paper presents two prediction models for wastewater reuse potential in South Africa. The proposed models, namely a Bayesian Network model and a Linear Regression model, were used as a platform for integrated analysis of features such as water use, and socio-demographic and environmental factors. A dataset from the sub-regions of the 19 water management areas in South Africa was employed as input into the models in order to analyse these features and to consequently predict water reuse potential. Keywords: water reuse, wastewater recycling, Bayesian network, linear regression
... In their study, Wang et al. (2014) found worldwide increase in the drought areas during 1902-2008. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, several socio-economically significant regional droughts have been observed especially in Australia (2000Australia ( -2009, Europe (2007Europe ( -2010, USA (2000USA ( -2016, China (2007China ( -2012, Southern and Sub-Saharan Africa (2015-2017) (Ummenhofer et al., 2009;Tierney et al., 2015;Chao et al., 2016;Baudoin et al., 2017;West et al., 2019). During 1950 to 2008, widespread drying increased around 1.74% worldwide and it has been presumed that frequency of this hazard shall ascend by the end of the twenty first century due to recent warming (Dai, 2011(Dai, , 2013. ...
Article
Analysing historical drought pattern is vital for implementation of efficient drought adaptation and mitigation policies. In this study, we examined the meteorological drought characteristics of India during 1901–2015, using Climate Research Unit (CRU) based Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) at multiple timescales i.e., 1 month (SPEI01), 3 month (SPEI03), 6 month (SPEI06), 12 month (SPEI12). Here, we applied K-means clustering algorithm on SPEI12 (December) to find out different clusters with distinct drought characteristics. The six different homogeneous regions, i.e., cluster1 (C1), cluster2 (C2), cluster3 (C3), cluster4 (C4), cluster5 (C5), and cluster6 (C6) identified by K mean clustering largely resemble with the clusters mentioned in previous researches. Different drought parameters (duration, frequency, intensity) have been also analysed for each cluster on a monthly, seasonal and interannual basis. The study indicates that northern part of India (C6, C3) experienced frequent droughts at shorter timescales whereas the western (C2) and north eastern (C4) part of the country encountered frequent drought occurrences at longer timescale. It is worthy to mention that the C2 region comprising the semi-arid and arid western part of the country including the great Indian desert, is vulnerable to frequent, prolonged and severe droughts at longer timescale (SPEI12). The study revealed a significant regional variation in drought trends identified by Modified Mann-Kendall (MMK) trend test. The annual trend analysis shows statistically significant (p < 0.05) increasing drought trend over C3 and C4 regions comprising the fertile Gangetic and Brahmaputra plains. The seasonal MMK trend analysis reveals significant increase (p < 0.05) in droughts over C3 (−0.006) and C4 (−0.005) during monsoon. The increasing drought trend over the Gangetic plain (C3) is prominent especially in the months of July (p < 0.05, slope = −0.005) and August (p < 0.001, slope = −0.006). The study provides a region-specific understanding of drought characteristics and long-term trends crucial for preparing adaptive strategies to minimize the cumulative impacts of droughts.
... From a scientific capacity, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) is the main mandated government entity responsible for monitoring weather and climate patterns necessary for decision making [32]. Operationally, SAWS produces and disseminates weather and seasonal climate forecasts (for a period of up to 5 months) regularly through various platforms [33]. Once a forecast is issued, relevant government authorities are responsible for disseminating it to minimize potential impacts on agricultural production. ...
Article
In recent decades, ample scientific and institutional efforts have been devoted to developing agricultural drought early warning systems as part of disaster risk reduction programs. This review considered the status quo in South Africa and addressed various factors on the prospects of applying key lessons for a probable system. Additionally, the review explored external factors, corresponding to opportunities, and threats, by learning from established web-based agricultural drought early warning systems around the world. Various characteristics were found among these systems and the most common include inter alia, the capability to forecast impending drought, comprise a processing functionality and provides the level of drought impact on agriculture. The least common, yet vital included the integration of field observations, an interactive map and contingency plans. Factors such as the possibility of providing false information due to lack of calibration, slow adoption rate and lack of secure human and financial commitment were viewed as potential hurdles, which should be perceived as modes of opportunity. Accordingly, the study recommended the use of innovative technologies to translate hazard into impact, provide value-added contingency plans and improve stakeholder communication for further developments.
... While the response of the city of Cape Town, as well as the residents to the recent drought episode, has been commended for averting a "day zero", it is unlikely that other resource-poor (both human and financial) cities will respond effectively to such large-scale drought incidence. While non-governmental organisations have been instrumental in addressing experiences of climate change in certain parts of South Africa, experiences in some cities (such as Cape Town) have demonstrated reliance on the non-governmental sector (Baudoin et al., 2017; Gift of the Givers, 2018), but the ability of this sector to respond to wide-scale drought in multiple cities is unknown. countries such as Sweden, Canada and the Czech Republic demonstrates the importance of a state-led approach since the return on investment comes over a long time horizon, which is likely to be unattractive for the private sector (Nieboer, et al., 2012: 243). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Exploring government policy towards subsidised housing in South Africa, this edited collection analyses various programmes, their shortcomings and potential options to address these weaknesses in the context of a country suffering from an exponential demand for housing in the face of insufficient supply. The Political Economy of Government Subsidised Housing in South Africa looks at the complex and contested nature of the issue in post-apartheid South Africa, stimulating debate and knowledge sharing on housing programmes, proffering solutions to the issue. The book explores the issue from both practical and intellectual standpoints, exploring the relationship between historical institutional legacies and contemporary power structures, and their role in provision of housing for the growing population of South Africa. This book will be of great interest to students of urban and regional planning, political economy, development studies, and African studies.
... Moreover, during 2014-2019 recurring droughts over many parts of South Africa severely reduced agricultural output. This included the El Niño event in 2015/16, which resulted in the lowest annual rainfall in 100 years (Baudoin et al. 2017). This drought led to livestock herd reductions in 2016 on the back of increased slaughtering. ...
Article
We use a primary data set from a survey of medium and large firms and farms in the beef, citrus, and maize value chains in South Africa during March-June 2020, the early and late phases of the initial COVID-19 lockdowns. We have five main findings. (1) The initial lockdown regulations declared as “essential” the product (vertical) value chains but left as “inessential” the important “lateral” value chains delivering labour, materials, and logistics to the segments of the vertical value chains. This hurt the three vertical value chains as constraints in the laterals choked key segments of the verticals. (2) Vulnerability of the whole value chain emanated from vulnerability to shocks of critical “hotspot” linchpin segments (such as livestock auctions) or infrastructure (such as at ports). (3) Collective, industry-level “pivoting” was crucial both to organize the private sector response and to interact with government to course-correct on COVID-19 policies. (4) Responses to pre-COVID-19 challenges (such as drought and international phytosanitary rule changes) had prepared the beef and citrus value chain actors to respond collectively to the pandemic challenges. (5) Individual firm- and segment-level “pivoting” was also crucial for resilience, such as cattle auctions going on-line with the help of e-commerce firms.
... Farmers may lose resources such as capital if drought damages their crops during these years. If the farmers water supply is insufficient, they may be forced to spend more money on irrigation or drill more wells, or produce lower yields during the affected years (Baudoin et al., 2017;Kuwayama et al., 2019). Ranchers may have to pay more money on livestock feed and water. ...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing demand for food and environmental stressors are some of the most challenging problems that human societies face today and these have encouraged new studies to examine drought impacts on food production. Seeking to discuss these important issues in the South African context, this study analyzed the impacts of drought on food security in one of the country's largest commercial agricultural land (Free State Province). Earth observation and crop data were acquired from Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS) and GrainSA databases, respectively for years 2011/2012–2020/2021 over Free State Province. Two crops namely, maize and sorghum were obtained from the database and analyzed accordingly to quantify drought impacts on the two crops. The result reveals that the years 2015 and 2018 were affected by extreme drought events (<10%) where the majority of the study area was impacted. Years 2011, 2016, 2018, and 2019 were severely affected by drought (>30%) and impacted the agricultural sector in the study area. Findings further revealed that maize production observed the lowest recorded in the year 2014 and 2015 with about 223,600 and 119,050 tons, respectively. More so, results further showed that sorghum production recorded the lowest production in years 2019, 2016, and 2015 with about 23,600, 24,640, and 24,150 tons, in that order during the period of study. The results confirm the impacts of drought on maize and sorghum productions in the year 2015 and other years that recorded the lowest productions during drought years. This development might have impacted food security in the study area, and this outcome will enable decision-making bodies on food security to enhance improved strategy in vulnerable areas.
... Environmental drought, compared to some other natural disasters, such as, floods, snow avalanches, and rock falls have more devastating effects on water, soil, and natural resource, some of which are generally irreparable Dubovyk et al., 2019). This issue, along with several significant regional droughts, which have occurred in different parts of the world over the past few decades, makes it an important object in many applications and research topics (Damavandi et al., 2016;Cook et al., 2016;Baudoin et al., 2017). The importance of this phenomenon, however, has been connived in many environmental studies due to the weakness of field measurements of drought intensity in an acceptable spatial and temporal coverage at regional and global scales . ...
Article
Full-text available
Drought is an important natural disaster that causes devastating impacts on the ecosystem, livestock, environment, and society. So far, various remote-sensing methods have been developed to estimate drought conditions, each of which has advantages and restrictions. This study aims to monitor the real-time drought indices at the field scales via the integration of various earth observations. Our proposed method consists of two steps. In the first step, the relationships between long-term standardized precipitation indices (SPI) derived from PERSIANN-CDR rainfall data and two drought-dependent parameters derived from MODIS products, including normalized NDVI and soil-air temperature gradient, are obtained at the spatial resolution of PERSIANN-CDR grid (approximately 25 km). As the next step, the corresponding relationships are applied to estimate the drought index maps at the spatial resolution of MODIS products (1 km). Numerous analyses are carried out to evaluate the proposed method. The results revealed that, from various drought indices, including SPIs of different timescales (1, 3, 6, and 12-months), SPI-3 and SPI-6 are more appropriate to the proposed method in terms of correlation with temperature and vegetation parameters. The findings also demonstrate the competency of the proposed method in estimating SPI indices with average RMSE 0.67 and the average correlation coefficient of 0.74.
... The consequent food shortages resulted in massive importation of food crops (like maize) to bridge resultant production shortfalls. 13,14 This resulted in increase in the cost of food, further putting pressure on rural societies whose livelihoods were already precarious from pervasive poverty and the catastrophic costs of accessing care due to the high HIV and tuberculosis burden. 15 South Africa has the largest global burden of HIV, with 7.8 million people living with HIV (PLHIV) in 2020 and the biggest ART programme. ...
... During these years, precipitation in south western regions decreased by approximately 30% up to 50% below the long-term average rainfall 71 . This drought event was recorded in 2016 as the result of El Niño event 72 , which had a negative impact on the regional reservoir availability which decreased from 97% in 2014 to 38% in 2017 70 . We also identified multiple low amplitude of precipitation in 1992, 2007, and 2018 in the complete study area. ...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change impacts on maize production in South Africa, i.e., interannual yield variabilities, are still not well understood. This study is based on a recently released reanalysis of climate observations (AgERA5), i.e., temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, and wind speed data. The study assesses climate change effects by quantifying the trend of agrometeorological indicators, their correlation with maize yield, and analyzing their spatiotemporal patterns using Empirical Orthogonal Function. Thereby, the main agrometeorological factors that affected yield variability for the last 31 years (1990/91–2020/21 growing season) in major maize production provinces, namely Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and North West are identified. Results show that there was a significant positive trend in temperature that averages 0.03–0.04 °C per year and 0.02–0.04 °C per growing season. There was a decreasing trend in precipitation in Free State with 0.01 mm per year. Solar radiation did not show a significant trend. Wind speed in Free State increased at a rate of 0.01 ms⁻¹ per growing season. Yield variabilities in Free State, Mpumalanga, and North West show a significant positive correlation (r > 0.43) with agrometeorological variables. Yield in KwaZulu-Natal is not influenced by climate factors. The leading mode (50–80% of total variance) of each agrometeorological variable indicates spatially homogenous pattern across the regions. The dipole patterns of the second and the third mode suggest the variabilities of agrometeorological indicators are linked to South Indian high pressure and the warm Agulhas current. The corresponding principal components were mainly associated with strong climate anomalies which are identified as El Niño and La Niña events.
... Where it occurs, it is driven by the University of KwaZulu Natal and Durban municipality, which are also the most prominent proponents domestically, having a long-standing record of experimenting with and implementing modular technologies in informal settlements (Sutherland, Scott, and Hordijk 2015). Apart from these, we also find the government promoting modular solutions in response to severe droughts in 2015/16 (Baudoin et al. 2017). These pressures also attracted international organizations like the International Water Association and the UN to legitimize modular solutions in South Africa. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research in economic geography has recently been challenged to adopt more institutional and multiscalar perspectives on industrial path development. This article contributes to this debate by integrating insights from (evolutionary) economic geography as well as transition and innovation studies into a conceptual framework of how path creation in emerging industries depends on the availability of both knowledge and legitimacy. Unlike the extant literature, we argue here that not only the former but also the latter may substantially depend on nonlocal sources. Conceptually, we distinguish between multiscalar export, attraction, and absorption of legitimacy. Coupled with conventional knowledge indicators, this approach enables us to reconstruct how not only external knowledge sourcing but also multiscalar institutional dynamics contribute to a region or country’s ability to leverage its potential for path creation in an emerging industry. Methodologically, we develop legitimation indicators from a global media database, which was built around the case of modular water technologies. Cross-comparing the evidence from six key countries (India, Israel, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, the US) with differing path creation constellations for this emerging industry, allows us to hypothesize how multiscalar legitimation influences a country’s prospects for creating a radically new industrial path.
... It has been previously suggested that woody plant establishment and recruitment might be linked to extreme rainfall events and changes in herbivory and fire pressures that can be caused by drought reducing grass productivity and competition (Wilson andWitkowski, 1998, Kraaij andWard, 2006). From 2014 to 2016, an El Niño drought event occurred across southern Africa (Baudoin et al., 2017). Here, we examine how drought and fire independently and interactively relate to juvenile and adult woody plant community composition in a semi-arid savanna. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to understand how communities of adult and juvenile (seedlings and saplings) woody plants were impacted by fire and the 2014–2016 El Niño drought in Kruger National Park, South Africa. We used a landscape‐scale fire experiment spanning 2013–2019 in a semi‐arid savanna in the central west of Kruger National Park (mean annual precipitation, 543 mm). Adult and juvenile woody species composition were recorded during and after the drought in 40 plots that experienced a mix of no fire, moderate fire, and frequent fire treatments. Using multivariate modeling, we related community composition in juvenile and adult woody plants to year of sampling and the experimental fire treatments. Post‐drought, there was significant adult woody plant top‐kill, especially in dominant species Dichrostachys cinerea (81% reduction in abundance), Acacia nigrescens (30%), and Combretum apiculatum (19%), but there was no significant change in adult species richness. Two years post‐drought, abundance of all juveniles decreased by 35%, and species richness increased in juveniles in both the frequent fire (7%) and no fire treatments (32%). Counter‐intuitively, the El Niño drought increased species richness of the woody plant community due to the recruitment of new species as juveniles, a potential lasting impact on diversity, and where different fire regimes were associated with differences in community composition. Drought events in semi‐arid savannas could drive temporal dynamics in species richness and composition in previously unrecognized ways. Using woody species abundance data collected in a landscape scale fire experiment in a semi‐arid savanna in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, we related community composition in juvenile and adult woody plants to year of sampling and the experimental fire treatments using multivariate modelling. Drought increased species richness of the woody plant community which is due to the recruitment of new species as juveniles, a potential lasting impact on diversity, and where different fire regimes favoured differences in community composition. Drought events in semi‐arid savannas could drive temporal dynamics in species richness and composition in previously unrecognised ways.
... Chiew et al. (1998) provided an overview of the relationship between ENSO and rainfall, drought, and streamflow in Australia. Baudoin et al. (2017) investigated how South Africa responded to drought over time due to the 2016 El Niño. Leitold et al. (2018) found that El Niño conditions accelerated canopy turnover in the central Amazon particularly during drought years. ...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study is to map drought-prone areas in Gunungkidul district using the fuzzy c-means method, making it easier for the government to allocate water-dropping assistance to drought-affected areas. The research variables include rainfall, soil type, infiltration, slope, and land use. The type of variables is in an ordinal scale, so they must be transformed using the successive interval method before being analyzed using the fuzzy c-means method. The cluster validity indexes of the Xie and Beni index, partition coefficient, and modification partition coefficient were used to find the optimal k. The results of fuzzy c-means clustering revealed three clusters with a low level of vulnerability consisting of 7 sub-districts, a moderate level of vulnerability consisting of 8 sub-districts, and a high level of vulnerability consisting of 3 sub-districts. Rainfall, land use, soil type, infiltration, and slope were the drought hazard factors with the greatest to least effect in this study.
... The lake receives water predominantly from the Phongolo River through an annual controlled flood release in October from the Pongolapoort Dam located approximately 80 km upstream of the game reserve [50,51]. From 2015 to 2016, South Africa experienced the combined effects of a strong ENSO event and a severe supraseasonal drought, leading to below average rainfall and decreased dam levels across the country, including Northern KZN [12,[51][52][53]. As a result, no floods were released from the Pongolapoort Dam and Lake Nyamithi started to dry up in 2016, with a drop of approximately 1.5 m in water levels, and salinity increasing to levels above 6 g L −1 (pers. ...
Article
Full-text available
Climate induced drought is a prominent threat to natural saline aquatic ecosystems by modifying their hydrology and salinity, which impacts the biodiversity of these ecosystems. Lake Nyamithi is a naturally saline lake in South Africa that experienced the effects of a two-year supra-seasonal drought (2015–2016). This study aimed to determine potential effects of the drought and accompanying increased salinity (between 9.8 and 11.5 g L−1) on aquatic invertebrate communities of Lake Nyamithi, and assess their potential recovery following the drought. Aquatic invertebrates and water were collected for biodiversity and chemical assessments during predrought conditions (2014), the peak of the drought (2016) and after the site had received water (2017). Taxon richness was considerably reduced during the peak of the drought as many biota could not tolerate the increased salinity. Ecological resilience and recovery was evident in the lake since numerous biota (re)colonized the lake promptly after the site received water and salinity decreased (<8 g L−1). By the end of 2017, invertebrate biodiversity exceeded that of predrought conditions. Although some biota may be able to temporarily cope with extreme weather conditions, frequent or prolonged periods of drought and increased salinity pose a threat to naturally saline lakes such as Nyamithi and dilution with fresh water is vital for the persistence of species diversity and ecological integrity.
... Institutional and policy frameworks related to drought and environmental stress mitigation include water harvesting, collective loan systems, food aid, drought tolerant crops, off-farm employment, or alternative livelihoods, among others. 61,62,64,66,68,74,77,83,87,88,117,118,[122][123][124][137][138][139][140][141][142][143][144] The review also shows the disruptive effects of drought on these strategies. 55,122 Adherence studies allude to policy and health system factors and their impact on adherence. ...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is directly and indirectly linked to human health, including through access to treatment and care. Our systematic review presents a systems understanding of the nexus between drought and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence in HIV-positive individuals in the African setting. Narrative synthesis of 111 studies retrieved from Web of Science, PubMed/MEDLINE, and PsycINFO suggests that livelihoods and economic conditions, comorbidities and ART regimens, human mobility, and psychobehavioural dispositions and support systems interact in complex ways in the drought–ART adherence nexus in Africa. Economic and livelihood-related challenges appear to impose the strongest impact on human interactions, actions, and systems that culminate in non-adherence. Indeed, the complex pathways identified by our systems approach emphasise the need for more integrated research approaches to understanding this phenomenon and developing interventions.
... Figure 11.3 highlights the strong dry conditions in 2015 and 2016, particularly shown by the SPEI (Figure 11.3b), which indicate the role of PET on modulating drought severity in the CRB. Intense drought conditions associated with the 2015-2016 El Niño event affected the forests, resident livelihoods, and economic growth of the Congo, as well as most of central and southern Africa (Baudoin et al., 2017;Wigneron et al., 2020). A trend analysis of the SPI and SPEI series at scales of 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months throughout the study period revealed a similar tendency toward drier conditions, all of which were statistically significant except for the SPI-1 (Table 11.2). ...
Chapter
The spatiotemporal evolution of droughts in the Congo River Basin (CRB) from 1981–2018 was investigated using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and Standardized Precipitation–Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) to assess the roles of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. The results confirmed a notable trend toward drier conditions, particularly in parts of the northern and central basin, as well as in the south of the CRB, which was associated with increases in potential evapotranspiration and declining rainfall. Global outputs of the Lagrangian model FLEXPART were used to model air masses over four important climatological regions considered to be the main sources of precipitation in the CRB, and their contributions to precipitation over the basin were computed. These analyses confirmed that moisture in the CRB is ~60% self‐sourced; African lands were the next greatest contributor, followed by the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It was found that a reduction in contributions of the sources prevailed during 53 meteorological drought episodes that affected the CRB during the study period and it could be inferred that a reduction in moisture supplied from the Atlantic and Indian Oceans played an important role in the onset of drought episodes. It was also observed that the contribution of moisture from all sources to the CRB decreased during the study period, especially over the northern half of the basin, where the main humid forest of the CRB is located, confirming the importance of water transport and local hydroclimatological dynamics on the hydrological conditions, ecosystems, and local communities of the CRB.
... La figure 11.3 montre les conditions sèches et humides pour la période comprise entre 1981 et 2018, selon les catégories énumérées dans le tableau 11.1 à différentes échelles du SPI et du SPEI (de 1 à 24 échelles temporelles). L'analyse visuelle de cette figure révèle que les conditions de sécheresse les plus fréquentes et les plus intenses, selon toutes les échelles temporelles du SPI et du SPEI, ont affecté le CRB de 1983-1984, 1992-1994, 2004-2005, 2009- 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 ont affecté les forêts, les moyens de subsistance des habitants et la croissance économique du Congo, ainsi que la majeure partie de l'Afrique centrale et australe (Baudoin et al., 2017;Wigneron et al., 2020). Une analyse des tendances des séries SPI et SPEI à des échelles de 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 et 24 mois tout au long de la période d'étude a révélé une tendance similaire vers des conditions plus sèches, toutes statistiquement significatives sauf le SPI-1 (tableau 11.2). ...
Chapter
L’évolution spatio‐temporelle des sécheresses dans le bassin du fleuve Congo (CRB) de 1981 à 2018 a été étudiée en utilisant l'indice standardisé des précipitations (SPI) et l'indice standardisé des precipitations‐ l’évapotranspiration (SPEI) pour évaluer les rôles des précipitations et de l’évapotranspiration potentielle. Les résultats ont confirmé une tendance notable vers des conditions plus sèches, en particulier dans certaines parties du nord et du centre du bassin, ainsi que dans le sud du CRB, ce qui a été associé à une augmentation de l’évapotranspiration potentielle et à une diminution des précipitations. Les sorties globales du modèle lagrangien FLEXPART ont été utilisées pour modéliser les masses d'air sur quatre régions climatologiques importantes considérées comme les principales sources de précipitations dans le CRB, et leurs contributions aux précipitations sur le bassin ont été calculées. Ces analyses ont confirmé que l'humidité dans le CRB est autosourcée à environ 60 %; les terres africaines sont le contributeur le deuxiéme plus important, suivies par l'océan Indien et l'océan Atlantique. Il a été constaté qu'une réduction des contributions des sources a prévalu pendant 53 épisodes de sécheresse météorologique qui ont affecté le CRB au cours de la période d'étude et on a pu déduire qu'une réduction de l'humidité fournie par les océans Atlantique et Indien a joué un rôle important dans le déclenchement des épisodes de sécheresse. Il a été également observé que la contribution de l'humidité de toutes les sources au CRB a diminué pendant la période d'étude, en particulier dans la moitié nord du bassin, où se trouve la principale forêt humide du CRB, ce qui confirme l'importance du transport de l'eau et de la dynamique hydroclimatologique locale sur les conditions hydrologiques, les écosystèmes et les communautés locales du CRB.
... Droughts impact social and natural environments around the world [2,3]. For example, in the 21st century alone there have been severe drought events on every continent, such as the 2010 Russian Drought [4], the 2011 Horn of Africa Drought [5], the 2013-2014 California drought [6], the 2015-2017 Southern African Drought [7,8], the 2005 Amazon Drought [9], and the 2003 European Drought [10]). The most recent IPCC report outlines that, globally, agricultural and ecological droughts are expected to increase (low to medium confidence, Arias et al. [11]). ...
Article
Full-text available
East Africa has experienced a number of devastating droughts in recent decades, including the 2010/2011 drought. The National Drought Management Authority in Kenya relies on real-time information from MODIS satellites to monitor and respond to emerging drought conditions in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya. Providing accurate and timely information on vegetation conditions and health—and its probable near-term future evolution—is essential for minimising the risk of drought conditions evolving into disasters as the country’s herders directly rely on the conditions of grasslands. Methods from the field of machine learning are increasingly being used in hydrology, meteorology, and climatology. One particular method that has shown promise for rainfall-runoff modelling is the Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) network. In this study, we seek to test two LSTM architectures for vegetation health forecasting. We find that these models provide sufficiently accurate forecasts to be useful for drought monitoring and forecasting purposes, showing competitive performances with lower resolution ensemble methods and improved performances over a shallow neural network and a persistence baseline.
... In addition to cropping, grasslands support wildlife populations and livestock production that are vulnerable to drought (Vogel 1994). Food and water shortages can become natural disasters that aggravate poverty particularly in multi-year drought (Rouault and Richard 2005;Manatsa et al., 2007;Sheffield et al., 2008;Baudoin et al., 2017;Mahlalela et al., 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Drought is a slow onset, recurring and inevitable feature of South Africa's climate. This research deconstructs the meteorological processes underlying drought and its impacts on surface temperature and vegetation in the more productive eastern half of South Africa. We use an index area 22–31°S, 22–32°E and extract monthly satellite and reanalysis data in the period 1979–2019. Drought intensity is determined by i) vegetation color, ii) soil moisture, iii) maximum air temperature and iv) net outgoing longwave radiation. Global drivers are represented by tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean sea temperatures. Composite and regression analysis of drought reveals a mid-tropospheric anticyclone over Namibia induces equatorward flow and subsidence that drives away atmospheric moisture. This feature is associated with the Pacific El Niño, positive Indian Ocean Dipole and an accelerated westerly jet stream. Ocean warming east of Madagascar draws NW-cloud bands there. The advection of anticyclonic vorticity from the South Atlantic and standing atmospheric Rossby wave-trains are key features of South African drought. Dry spells in the summers of 2015, 2016 and 2019 were more intense than 1983 and 1992, as reflected by S-pan potential evaporation measurements >14 mm/day. Despite water deficits, maize yields and river discharge appear stable, due to the uptake of scientific advice and innovative engineering.
... The more diverse and robust a household's asset base is, the more drought resilient it will be and more alternatives it will have for switching between different livelihood strategies in response to drought. According to research on the elements determining drought sensitivity in South Africa, non-irrigated farmland and rangeland on sandy soils, located in areas with a high chance of seasonal moisture deficiency, were the most vulnerable to agricultural drought (Baudoin et al. 2017). Less is known about the interplay between drought vulnerability and land-use/land cover changes in drought-prone arid land areas such as South Africa. ...
Article
Full-text available
Droughts are particularly disastrous in South Africa and other arid regions that are waterscarce by nature due to low rainfall and water sources. According to some studies, droughts are not uncommon in Africa’s drylands and have been rising in dry African terrain. Warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters describe the climate of the Free State Province, South Africa, a province that has been severely afected by drought events in recent times. Several studies have been carried out as regards drought prediction and mapping in arid and semi-arid areas using various models, tools and techniques. However, the use of machine learning algorithms is just emerging, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Studies have shown that machine learning and artifcial intelligence methods have a high potential for assessment, prediction and identifcation of extreme events such as drought. Hence, this study aimed to evaluate drought dynamics in the Free State Province and identify drought drivers using regression-based algorithms. Results revealed that 2015 was severely afected by drought episodes as the study area observed extreme drought. More so, fndings from this study showed that agricultural lands, cultivated grasslands, and barren surfaces were infuenced or impacted by the drought disaster, especially in 2015, a drought year in the Free State Province. From the feature selection results, the infuence of climate proxies and anthropogenic factors on VCI shows the ecological situation within the Free State Province.
... An increase in world population escalates the agricultural demand, which directly influences social and economic security (Nagarajan 2010). Since 2000, agricultural drought has been a challenging scenario faced by various nations across the globe, not limited to the USA (2000 -2016), Australia (2000Australia ( -2009, China (2007China ( -2012, Europe (2007Europe ( -2010, and Africa (2015 -2017) (Ummenhofer et al. 2009;Ault et al. 2016;Baudoin et al. 2017;Chao et al. 2016). Drought is a hydro-meteorological phenomenon and universal disaster that indicates the deficit of water that is characterized by slow development and extended impacts on the economy and society (West, Quinn, and Horswell 2019). ...
Chapter
Agriculture is considered the backbone of the countries economy. Unpredictable climatic changes and reduction of fresh water from surface and subsurface lead to a devastating economic loss, affecting the livelihood of the humans resulting in drought. Drought is triggered by lack of monsoon rain resulting in affecting the raw materials supplies for various industries resulting in affecting the Indian economy. Technological advancement leads to the development of satellites that help in monitoring and predicting drought occurrence with the aid of temporal datasets and machine learning techniques. The ability to cover a larger area and providing temporal datasets obtained using various sensors over a region aid in obtaining accurate ground information and in the prediction and management of disaster events. Satellites assist in obtaining parameters including climate, oceanic and biophysical datasets that aid in effective modeling and drought analysis. A review is carried out in the present study with the detailed analysis of utilizing Suresh Devaraj, Seylina Sathish, M. Geetha Priya et al. 230 space datasets for modeling, analyzing, and predicting drought events and the advantages of adopting satellite images for mitigation and management of drought.
Article
Climate change in South Africa remains an issue of socio-economic and environmental concern. An increase in frequency and intensity of climatic events pose significant threats to biophysical and socio-economic aspects, namely food security, water resources, agriculture, biodiversity, tourism, and poverty. In order to counteract the socio-economic and environmental concerns pertaining to issues of climate change, emergent insights on climate change strategies suggest that building resilience in human and environmental systems is an ideal way of combating dynamic environmental conditions and future uncertainties. Using the qualitative secondary data approach, this article evaluates whether vulnerable communities in uMkhanyakude District Municipality can become resilient to the implications of climate change. UMkhanyakude District Municipality is predominantly rural and one of the most impoverished districts in KwaZulu-Natal, with the majority of socially and economically marginalised individuals and households experiencing more severe impacts as a result of climate change compared to those in urban areas. Data was analysed using content analysis and a concise summary of the biophysical and socio-economic aspects is presented. This research suggests that building resilience to climate change is possible when bottom-up, proactive and systematic measures are taken to manage vulnerable areas such as those in uMkhanyakude District Municipality. It recommends that social impact assessments (SIA) be conducted to assist in terms of assessing social consequences that are likely to follow from policy actions.
Article
Full-text available
South Africa in general and the Eastern Cape Province in particular face increasing water shortages. However, little empirical evidence exists on how rural households are affected by water scarcity and the impact thereof on food security. This paper discusses the relationship between water scarcity and food security in Ngqeleni, a rural location in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Through empirical evidence collected using techniques inspired by the tradition of participatory focus group research and self-administered questionnaires in Ngqeleni, it is argued that there is a significant relationship between water scarcity and food security. Results also reveal that population growth, lack of political will and commitment, inadequate water resource infrastructure, and weaknesses within the institutional framework are some of the causes of water scarcity. Until effective water management systems are identified and enforced, food security will continue to plague Ngqeleni.
Article
Local authorities (LA) are vested with authority to preside over the affairs of local communities. This authority comes with responsibilities of reducing disaster risks and losses. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) has been a key goal of global frameworks for minimizing risk and losses from disasters. Despite global efforts to reduce disaster risk, research into what hinders LA in investing for DRR is limited. Using case study material from two rural councils in Zimbabwe, this study examined barriers that constrain LA in investing in DRR for resilience. The study used interviews that involved local authority and civil protection officials, the academia, policy makers and disaster practitioners. Results show that LA in Zimbabwe are constrained by inadequate legislative authority, unclear mandates for DRR and a lack of necessary resources. The study concludes that LA need strengthening through legislative reforms, devolution, and injection of financial and material resources to invest in DRR strategies.
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events, such as drought and heat waves. In this paper, we assess the impact of drought and high temperatures on the employment outcomes of working-age individuals in South Africa between 2008 and 2017. We merge high-resolution weather data with detailed individual-level survey data on labor market outcomes, and estimate causal impacts using a fixed effects framework. We find that increases in the occurrence of drought reduce overall employment. These effects are concentrated in the tertiary sector, amongst informal workers, and in provinces with a higher reliance on tourism. Taken together, our results suggest that the impacts of climate change will be felt unequally by South Africa's workers.
Article
Full-text available
A need exists to understand how drought and its linked consequences threaten aquatic ecosystems and their associated biota in semi-arid countries, as climate change is predicted to increase the effects of these events. South Africa experienced one of the worst droughts in its history from 2015 to 2017 and, as a result, all but the permanent waterbodies of the lower Phongolo River floodplain (PRF) in northern KwaZulu-Natal dried up. This study examined the resilience of aquatic invertebrates associated with the PRF and what the colonization and succession trends of aquatic invertebrates would be once floodplain pools were to receive water again following a 2-year drought. Water and aquatic invertebrates were collected 11 times from nine field mesocosms over a 5-week period for chemical and biodiversity analysis, respectively. Zooplankton hatched from resting stages and macroinvertebrates colonized the mesocosms from nearby permanent waterbodies within the first week of inundation, suggesting that the drought had not affected the ability of aquatic biota to continue natural colonization and succession. Although the biota appeared unaffected, an extension of such a drought could lead to habitat fragmentation and total desiccation of permanent waterbodies, potentially causing the local extinction of aquatic populations and a loss of biodiversity.
Article
Full-text available
Human activities and climate change continue to alter streamflow in many river basins. In this study, the influence of human activities and climate variability on streamflow changes in the Rietspruit sub-basin (RSB), South Africa, were investigated using precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, and discharge data for the period 1986 to 2018. Trends in the hydrometeorological variables were assessed using the Mann-Kendall test while the change point in the annual streamflow data was identified using the Pettitt test and the double mass curve technique. Results revealed no statistically significant change in annual precipitation, whereas annual streamflow showed a significant increasing trend while potential evapotranspiration showed a decreasing trend. It was identified that the change point occurred around 1999, thereby dividing the streamflow data into the pre-change (1986–1999) period with comparatively low urban cover (8.3%), and the post-change period (2000–2018) with urban land covering 16.6% of the study area. The results demonstrate that from 1986 to 2018, the elasticity of streamflow with respect to precipitation and potential evapotranspiration was 0.26 and −2.01, respectively. This implies that streamflow in the study area is more sensitive to potential evapotranspiration than precipitation. Nonetheless, changes in land use/land cover, particularly the urban settlement which increased by 101% between 1986 and 2018, were more influential than climate variability for the significant increase in streamflow in the RSB. The results provide necessary information for water resource management, land use planning and ecosystem development in the near future. This study emphasizes the necessity of addressing nonlinear and dynamic hydrological processes as a result of human impact and climate associated changes.
Thesis
Recent severe droughts in California, USA and the Western Cape Province, South Africa attracted global attention as water scarcity challenged cities, rural communities, agricultural industries, and ecosystems in varied ways. Governments responded to these conditions by setting and ultimately achieving water conservation targets, and scholarship evaluating the causes and consequences of both droughts from diverse perspectives emerged. This study extends existing scholarship by comparing drought responses in terms of their effects on water (in)justice, or social inequality as evinced in relationships to water access networks. In so doing, I explain how and why the drought responses materialized and manifested in widened inequalities, using information from previous research on the droughts and drought responses, policy documents, and interviews with key informants in each region about their perspectives on the droughts and the ensuing policy responses. I analyzed these data using mechanism-based process tracing methods. In both cases, causal mechanisms linking government responses to widened inequalities include what I identify as values-reinforcement mechanisms and strategic communication mechanisms. The common presence of these mechanisms reveals the resilience of dominant social values and constructions, even in response to socio-environmental challenges. The particular importance of interlinked policy- and household-level decisions around groundwater resources during drought events also emerged through comparative analysis of the cases. To conclude, I suggest practical implications based on these insights and areas for future research, highlighting droughts as consequential policy sites for advancing social and environmental justice.
Thesis
Despite the significance of drought as an important driver of ecological and evolutionary dynamics, we cannot overemphasise the current understanding of the environmental and ecosystem consequences of drought. Drought disaster is one of the key factors restricting vegetation development of several species in a wide variety of ecosystems. The goal of this study is to appraise drought disaster events using space-based information towards drought risk management for ecosystems and environmental conservation. The outcome of this study provides measures that will prevent and reduce disaster exposure and vulnerability to its occurrence, increase preparedness for response and thus strengthen disaster resilience in the Free State Province, South Africa. Drought disasters in Free State Province, South Africa were explored through various interdependent research segments. The first segment appraised the scientific community research on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) to identify their evolutionary trajectory during the period of investigation. This study highlighted five of the various innovations that can be highly useful in DRR and DRM practice, these include Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing, disaster risk insurance, Social Networking Systems (SNS), and materials that are resilient to disasters. Such technologies are considered very successful, but they are not always easy to implement. The second segment of the study explored the rich tapestry of studies on drought disasters, drought vulnerability, drought severity and water shortage (DDVS_WS), taking into account the critical situation and circumstance posed by drought in line with the shortage in water supplies. Based on the top themes, findings revealed that drought and climate change are at the centre of issues related to drought and water shortage, this provides a hint on the relatedness of drought and climate change for further studies. Thirdly, spatio-environmental distribution of drought disaster events in the Free State Province was assessed based on Terra-MODIS Vegetation Index using R programming. Results revealed that the study area experienced drought disaster in years 2016, 2017 and 2018, however, it was more evident in January, February, October, November and December during the period. The southern regions of the study area witnessed more drought disaster conditions and its occurrence, where most of the areas witnessed below 20% drought index (severe to extreme drought conditions) especially in the affected months. In the fourth segment, satellite-based applications in drought disaster assessment using terra MOD13Q1 data across the study area were explored. The results revealed and identified the years that were water-stressed in the study area, which indicated low vegetation abundance and high temperature in the Free State Province occurred in 2000, 2008, and 2009. The result also showed that the summer season over large parts of the study region is characterised by moderate to extreme drought while winter seasons have light drought conditions during the same time. The fifth section assessed drought disaster by utilising space-based data and R programming for drought years in the study area. Results revealed that the study area witnessed drought events in the year 2003 where March, August, September, October, November and December were more affected by drought disaster events. It was further observed that February and March were affected by extreme drought conditions in the year 2007. In the year 2012, January, October, November and December, there exist moderate to severe drought conditions in the study area where some regions were more affected than others. In the sixth segment, remote sensing data and regional climate scenario Representative Concentration Pathways of the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) were used to assess the future climate scenario from 2006 to 2050 using python script. The result showed that the entire study area was severely affected by drought disasters in the years 2015, 2003, 2005 and 2018 with drought condition index ranges between 40 and 0%, across the area, where most of the water-reliant sectors might have been affected during the period based on MODIS data. In the seventh segment, navigation of nature’s complexities through Terra MODIS information and downscaled regional climate model was examined. The result showed that from -24.5 to -25.5 latitude, the area witnessed a decrease in precipitation (80 to 120mm) across the time slice and an increase in the latitude -26° to -28° S for summer seasons, which is more prominent in the year 2041 to 2050. Finally, drought disaster monitoring and Land use dynamics as well as the identification of drought drivers using regression-based algorithms were examined in the last segment. As demonstrated in this study, drought disasters in the Free State Province and its associated impacts on the natural resources call for action especially by the strategy initiators and policy-making bodies. Despite the fact that climate unpredictability may provide some benefits, the majority of the consequences will almost certainly be negative, particularly for low-income areas that rely on natural resources for survival. The frequency and scope of drought disasters, as well as their effects on society, appear to indicate that current coping and response mechanisms may be insufficient to mitigate such risk impacts, and may be tragically inadequate if long-term drought disaster adaptation and management are not available.
Article
Full-text available
Resumo A gestão de risco das secas é fundamentada em três pilares principais sendo estes o monitoramento, a avaliação de impacto e a elaboração dos planos de ação. O Monitor de Secas do Brasil representa o início da gestão de riscos no país, no entanto ainda é necessário avançar nas demais etapas desse modelo de gestão. A agricultura é considerada mais sensível às variações climáticas, assim, estudos de impactos de seca neste setor buscam identificar vulnerabilidades e melhorar a capacidade adaptativa. Diante deste contexto, esta pesquisa identificou impactos de secas no setor agrícola em três territórios do estado de Sergipe. O coeficiente de correlação linear indicou que a produção de grãos e o rendimento médio da cultura possui correlação direta com a precipitação. Em relação aos dados do garantia-safra e da pecuária, a correlação não foi considerada aceitável. Verificou-se que as categorias de seca extrema e excepcional foram responsáveis por grandes perdas da safra de grãos. Apesar de ser em menor grau, a categoria de seca grave também gerou alguns danos a este setor. As categorias de seca fraca e moderada não resultaram em perdas na produção anual de grãos dos territórios, no entanto geraram prejuízos para pequenos produtores.
Article
The study aimed to determine the average stocking rate among land reform beneficiary farmers specialising in livestock production in order to establish differences between calving percentage, fodder availability, and mortality rate of sampled farms, as well as to compare forage scarcities of Land Reform farms with their neighbouring farms during the midsummer drought of 2018/2019 in the Bloemfontein area. The average stocking rate was 5.9 ha/LSU in comparison with the Departmental grazing capacity norm of 6 ha/LSU for rangeland in good condition. However, 31% of the sampled farms were found to be severely overstocked, and the mortality rate on these farms, in relation to grazing capacity of 6 ha/LSU, was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than the mortalities on the other remaining farms. Naturally available fodder was found to be heterogeneous, with 37.9% of the respondents observing their available fodder as worse than that of their neighbours. The total mortality of 176.77 LSUs was recorded for the 29 sampled farms. These findings will assist the local extension personnel prevent future rangeland condition degradation and increase land reform farmers’ productivity. The study concluded that training is paramount to farmers’ development and further recommends more research undertakings.
Article
Full-text available
With increasing funding directed towards climate change adaptation (CCA) in developing countries, there is a growing need to understand how this support is landing on the ground and impacting on the targeted vulnerable communities. Due to failure of top-down approaches, international organisations such as the adaptation fund are now demanding direct involvement of local actors when funding adaptation actions. Direct access mechanisms have been developed to facilitate channelling fund from the international to local levels. At this level, civil society, public and private organisations have a key role to play to assist adaptation among vulnerable groups. But are local organisations ready to play that role in developing countries? In this paper, we develop and apply a framework to measure adaptive capacity among local organisations. Through extensive fieldwork in South Africa, we assessed the capacity of local organisations to develop and implement CCA projects, and thus access international funds for adaptation. Results highlight key determinants of adaptive capacity and identify areas to prioritise for capacity-building interventions. Key findings include strengthening local organisations’ effectiveness (e.g. resources, project management capacity) and flexibility; raising awareness about adaptation and its links with socio-economic development; and promoting partnerships and knowledge networks as pathways to build adaptive capacity among local organisations in South Africa.
Article
Full-text available
Natural hazards and their related impacts can have powerful implications for humanity, particularly communities with deep reliance on natural resources. The development of effective early warning systems (EWS) can contribute to reducing natural hazard impacts on communities by improving risk reduction strategies and activities. However, current shortcomings in the conception and applications of EWS undermine risk reduction at the grassroots level. This article explores various pathways to involve local communities in EWS from top-down to more participatory approaches. Based on a literature review and three case studies that outline various levels of participation in EWS in Kenya, Hawai'i, and Sri Lanka, the article suggests a need to review the way EWS are designed and applied, promoting a shift from the traditional expert-driven approach to one that is embedded at the grassroots level and driven by the vulnerable communities. Such a community-centric approach also raises multiple challenges linked to a necessary shift of conception of EWS and highlights the need for more research on pathways for sustainable community engagement.
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the spatial and temporal structures of drought regimes in Southern Africa and evaluates the capability of ten global climate models (GCMs) in simulating the regimes. The study uses a multi-scaled standardized index (called standardized precipitation evapo-transpiration index, SPEI) in characterizing droughts over Southern Africa at 3- and 12-month scales. The spatial patterns of the drought regimes are identified using the rotated principal component analysis (PCA) on the SPEI, while the temporal characteristics of the drought regimes are studied using wavelet analysis. The relationship between each drought regime and global SSTs (and climate indices) is quantified using correlation analysis and wavelet coherence analysis. The study also quantifies the capability of the GCMs in simulating the drought regimes. The PCA results show four main drought regimes that jointly explain about 50 % SPEI variance over South Africa. The drought regimes (hereafter PF1, PF2, PF3 and PF4) centre over the south-western part of Southern Africa (i.e. South Africa, Botswana and Namibia common border), Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Angola, respectively. PF1, PF2 and PF4 are strongly correlated with SST over the South Atlantic, Tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans, while PF3 is strongly correlated with the SST over the Tropical Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The drought regimes (except PF4) have significant coherence with some atmospheric teleconnection, but the strength, duration, and phase of the coherence vary with time. All the GCMs simulate the drought regimes better at a 3-month scale than at a 12-month scale. At a 3-month scale, 70 % of the GCMs simulate all the drought regimes with a high correlation coefficient (r > 0.6), but at a 12-month scale only 60 % of the models simulate at least three of the drought regimes with a high correlation coefficient (r > 0.6). The results of this study have applications in using GCMs to study the underlying atmospheric dynamics that control droughts and to understand the impacts of global warming on droughts.
Article
Full-text available
This article assesses the current state of disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA), and focuses on interventions and policies to mitigate hy-drometeorological risks. The research analyzes, as main case study, the program ''Regional Climate Prediction and Risk Reduction in the Greater Horn of Africa'' funded by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID OFDA) in the early 2000 that targeted risk preparedness. The research method combines a desk review of relevant documents and research papers with surveys and interviews directed to key proponents of DRR across the GHA. Results highlight current strengths and weaknesses in the way DRR is implemented in the GHA. Significant improvements in the climate-forecasting capabilities in the GHA since the 2000s are acknowledged, but the practice of DRR remains technology driven and impacts on the ground are limited. The key findings highlight the significant communication gaps that exist between the producers of climate information and their end users, the communities at risk. The article urges the establishment of bridges that connect climate experts, policymakers, and representatives of the local communities, and for the implementation of a feedback loop from forecast users to their producers, in order to strengthen risk resilience across the GHA. Keywords Climate change Á Disaster risk management Á Greater Horn of Africa Á Hydrometeorological hazards Á Lessons learned Á Sub-Saharan Africa
Article
Full-text available
Climate and natural hazards are increasing in intensity, frequency and complexity. Their related impacts have powerful implications for humanity, particularly communities with deep reliance upon natural resources. The development of effective Early Warning Systems could contribute to foster livelihood resilience by improving coping mechanisms and even enhancing adaptive capacity. However, current shortcomings in early warning systems’ conception and applications undermine risk reduction at the grassroots level, which contribute to loss of lives and shocks to livelihoods. This paper provides multiple case studies illustrating best practices and challenges of participatory early warning systems, implemented at various scales in at-risk communities. Results indicate a need to significantly improve the way early warning systems are designed and applied. The paper suggests an integrated cross-scale approach that ensures the involvement of at-risk population from the risk detection to emergency management processes. Yet, such a participatory approach also raises multiple challenges, opening pathways for future research.
Article
Full-text available
The production of seasonal forecasts on a routine basis in South Africa started in the early 1990s. Most of the modelling then was based on linear statistical approaches. The subsequent evolution of the seasonal forecasting enterprise in South Africa included the development of seasonal forecasting expertise and the enhancement of complex modelling systems which include the implementation and administration of atmospheric global and regional circulation models, empirical downscaling, multi-model ensembles, ocean-atmosphere coupled model development, and applications of forecasts. The International Research Institute for Climate and Society has made telling contributions to this evolution over the past 20 years and these will be highlighted here.
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing concern worldwide about the ineffectiveness of current drought management practices that are largely based on crisis management. These practices are reactive and, therefore, only treat the symptoms (impacts) of drought rather than the underlying causes for the vulnerabilities associated with impacts. Through the adoption of national drought policies that are focused on risk reduction and complemented by drought mitigation or preparedness plans at various levels of government, the coping capacity of nations to manage droughts can be improved. The time for adopting an approach that emphasizes drought risk reduction is now, given the spiraling impacts of droughts in an ever-increasing number of sectors and the current and projected trends for the increased frequency, severity and duration of drought events in association with a changing climate. This paper discusses the underlying concepts of drought, the principles and objectives of national drought policies and a drought planning process that has been effective in the preparation of drought mitigation plans.
Article
Full-text available
Adaptation to the impacts of climate change is a dynamic process that is shaped by institutional, cultural, and socioeconomic contexts. Efforts to adapt to changing climate may occur on many scales and may be undertaken by a variety of stakeholders and do not occur in institutional vacuum. As globalization has increased the exchange of knowledge across space, a greater number of institutions have become involved in adaptation measures encompassing multiple scales. In order to gain insight into how adaptation might unfold into the future, we investigate the interactions between institutions operating at multiple levels in the innovation of new technologies on demand. From a broad sample of cases, we identify four distinct types of adaptation measures and select one corresponding case representing each type to assess the roles of institutions (and other stakeholders) in innovation. We further identify and discuss two findings that cut across all adaptation measures: (1) the need for widespread participation, flexibility, and integration of stakeholders for quick and effective response, and (2) the need to transfer leadership and responsibility from institutionally led adaptation measures to community based measures so that adaptation is sustained into the future. Together, these findings suggest that the types of adaptation measures implemented primarily from the top–down may not promote local resilience in the long term; likewise, those measures implemented from the bottom–up require some level of collaboration from the top to maximize their effectiveness.
Article
Full-text available
The standardized precipitation index allows for monitoring the intensity and spatial extent of droughts at different time scales. We used it to do a retrospective analysis of the spatial extent of droughts in Southern Africa (South of 10°S), from 1901 to 1999. Accordingly, the 8 most severe droughts at the 6-month scale (October-April) for the summer rainfall region of Southern Africa ended in 1916, 1924, 1933, 1949, 1970, 1983, 1992 and 1995. At the 2-year scale, they ended in 1906, 1933, 1983, 1984, 1992, 1993, 1995 and 1996. Areas affected by those droughts ranged from 3.4 to 2 106 km2. Eight of those 12 years are El Niño years. Preliminary data indicates that 2001/2002, 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 experienced severe droughts at a number of scales. This confirms the increase in the spatial extent of drought in Southern Africa since the 1970's due to stronger ENSO Southern African rainfall relationship
Article
Full-text available
Despite improvements in the science of climate forecasting, the application of forecasts faces key challenges. Prominent among such challenges is the fact that certain subgroupings of end users of climate information remain excluded from its potential benefits, or under-served. This paper suggests that such an omission may occur in part due to a lack of sophistication in the way the end user is viewed in the field of forecast applications research. End-user studies working both at generic and finer scales are cited, identifying reasons why certain user groups may be excluded from potential benefits of the forecast system. A case study in the Limpopo Province, South Africa, shows more specifically how one characteristic, namely gender, may determine such exclusion. The paper concludes by considering recommendations to improve inclusivity of climate information systems.
Article
Full-text available
The article analyses the rapid political change and redefinition of a regional identity in southern Africa in the 1990s in the context of the severe drought which affected these countries in 1991–92. As South Africa and its neighbours looked towards the normalisation of relations, concerted, regional, emergency actions prevented the drought conditions from producing a devastating drought disaster. These events not only served as a confidence‐building measure demonstrating that southern Africa can coherently function as a region to avert crisis, but also provided the first opportunity for the former adversaries to successfully cooperate on (non‐military) security matters. Nonetheless, although this case study illustrates that positive diplomatic initiatives can result from disaster relief efforts, the drought cannot be seen as the main driving force behind the normalisation of relations between South Africa and its neighbours.
Article
Full-text available
Southern African rainfall does not show any trend to desiccation during the 20th century. However, the subcontinent experienced particularly severe droughts in the 1980s and at the beginning of the 1990s and the magnitude of the interannual summer rainfall variability shows significant changes. Modifications of the intensity and spatial extension of droughts is associated with changes in ocean–atmosphere teleconnection patterns. This paper focuses mostly on the well-documented 1950–1988 period and on late summer season (January–March). A principal component analysis on southern African rainfall highlights modifications of the rainfall variability magnitude. The 1970–1988 period had more variable rainfall, and more widespread and intense droughts than the 1950–1969 period. To investigate the potential modifications of the associated ocean–atmosphere teleconnection patterns, a composite analysis is performed on sea-surface temperature (SST) and National Center for Environmental Protection (NCEP) atmospheric parameters, according to the 5 driest years of both sub-periods. Significant changes are shown in ocean–atmosphere anomaly patterns coincident with droughts for both sub-periods. The 1950–1969 droughts were associated with regional ocean–atmosphere anomalies, mainly over the southwest Indian Ocean region. In contrast, during the 1970–1988 droughts near-global anomalies were observed in the tropical zone, corresponding to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Within the whole century, significant correlations between Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and southern African Rainfall Index (SARI) were found in the periods (1900–1933 and 1970–1998) when SOI and SARI experienced high variability, and when southern Africa was affected by intense and extended droughts. During periods of low SOI (1934–1969), correlations became less significant and droughts were less intense and widespread. Copyright
Article
Full-text available
The standardised precipitation index (SPI) is an index that allows monitoring the intensity and spatial extension of droughts at different time scales (3, 6, 12 and 24 months). The SPI is linked to the probability occurrence of dry or wet events. The SPI allows monitoring operationally any location with a 30-year time series. It is also used here to do a retrospective analysis of the spatial extension and intensity of droughts in South Africa since 1921. According to this index, the 8 most severe droughts at the 6-month time scale for the summer rainfall region of South Africa happened in 1926, 1933, 1945, 1949, 1952, 1970, 1983 and 1992. There is considerable decadal variability and an 18 to 20 year cycle is only found in the number of dry districts. The total number of wet and dry districts per decade seems to have increased since the 1960s. Drought lasting 3 years is not uncommon for each of the 8 South African rainfall regions defined by the South African Weather Service. Combining the retrospective analysis with real time monitoring could be extremely beneficial in the development of response, mitigation strategies and awareness plans.
Article
Full-text available
Botswana was one of the poorest countries in Africa when it obtained independence in 1966. Owing to the desolation that prevailed at the time, Botswana was considered a hopeless case. This article seeks to show case how good governance impacted on development and poverty in Botswana. Botswana is one of the few African countries that have remained intact since independence, despite the challenges it faced, and at the same time was able to realize development and in turn reduced poverty by African standards. The paper argues that good governance in Botswana facilitated development and impacted positively on poverty and stability, to this extent, this has been a responsive democracy. The paper provides statistical evidence to support this claim.
Article
Full-text available
Adaptation is a process of deliberate change in anticipation of or in reaction to external stimuli and stress. The dominant research tradition on adaptation to environmental change primarily takes an actor-centered view, focusing on the agency of social actors to respond to specific environmental stimuli and emphasizing the reduction of vulnerabilities. The resilience approach is systems orientated, takes a more dynamic view, and sees adaptive capacity as a core feature of resilient social-ecological systems. The two approaches converge in identifying necessary components of adaptation. We argue that resilience provides a useful framework to analyze adaptation processes and to identify appropriate policy responses. We distinguish between incremental adjustments and transformative action and demonstrate that the sources of resilience for taking adaptive action are common across scales. These are the inherent system characteristics that absorb perturbations without losing function, networks and social capital that allow autonomous action, and resources that promote institutional learning.
Article
Full-text available
This chapter reviews the literature relevant to environmental governance in four domains of scholarship: globalization, decentralization, market and individual incentives-based governance, and cross-scale governance. It argues that in view of the complexity and multiscalar character of many of the most pressing environmental problems, conventional debates focused on pure modes of governance-where state or market actors play the leading role-fall short of the capacity needed to address them. The review highlights emerging hybrid modes of governance across the state-market-community divisions: comanagement, public-private partnerships and social-private partnerships. It examines the significant promise they hold for coupled social and natural systems to recover from environmental degradation and change and explores some of the critical problems to which hybrid forms of environmental governance are also subject.
Article
Full-text available
 Analysis of 149 raingauge series (1946–1988) shows a weak positive correlation between late summer rainfalls (January–March) in tropical southern Africa and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). The correlation coefficients have been unstable since World War II. They were close to zero before 1970 and significant thereafter. Before 1970, southern African late summer rainfalls were more specifically correlated with regional patterns of sea surface temperature (SST), mainly over the southwestern Indian Ocean. After 1970, teleconnections with near global SST anomaly patterns, i.e. over the central Pacific and Indian oceans, dominate the regional connections. The increase in the sensitivity of the southern African rainfall to the global SO-related circulation anomalies is simultaneous with the correlation between SOI and more extensive SST anomalies, particularly over the southern Indian Ocean. This feature is part of longer term (decadal), global SST variability, as inferred from statistical analyses. Numerical experiments, using the Météo-France general circulation model ARPEGE-Climat, are performed to test the impact of the observed SST warming in the southern Indian and extratropical oceans during El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events on southern African rainfall. Simulated results show that ENSO events, which occurred in the relatively cold background of the pre-1970 period in the southern oceans, had a little effect on southern Africa climatic conditions and atmospheric circulation. By contrast, more recent ENSO events, with warmer SST over the southern oceans, lead to a climatic bipolar pattern between continental southern African and the western Indian Ocean, which is characterized by reduced (enhanced) deep convection and rainfall over the subcontinent (the western Indian Ocean). A weaker subtropical high-pressure belt in the southwestern Indian Ocean is also simulated, along with a reduced penetration of the moist southern Indian Ocean trade winds over the southern African plateau. These results are consistent with the strong droughts observed over all southern Africa during ENSO events since 1970.
Article
Full-text available
Long-term policy is enjoying something of a come-back in connection with sustainable development. The current revival tries to avoid the pitfalls of an earlier generation of positivistic long-range planning and control approaches. Instead, this new generation of policy design emphasises reflexive governance concepts. These aim at inducing and navigating complex processes of socio-technical change by means of deliberation, probing and learning. A practical expression of this move that is attracting growing international attention amongst researchers and practitioners is the policy of ‘Transition Management’ (TM) in the Netherlands. This article takes stock of TM implementation experience to date and discusses the critical issues it raises for long-term policy design. The article provides a framework and synthesis for this Special Issue, which comprises articles that address a range of those issues in more depth. We highlight three critical issues: the politics of societal learning, contextual embedding of policy design and dynamics of the design process itself. This leads us to propose a view on policy design as a contested process of social innovation. Our conclusion considers implications for continued work on designing transition management in practice as well as the reflexive capacities of democratic politics.
Article
Full-text available
Rainfall variability and changes in Southern Africa over the 20th century areexamined and their potential links to the global warming discussed. After a shortreview of the main conclusions of various experiments with Global AtmosphericModels (GCM) forced by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases for SouthernAfrica, a study of various datasets documents the observed changes in rainfall featuresat both daily and seasonal time steps through the last century. Investigations of dailyrainfall parameters are so far limited to South Africa. They show that some regionshave experienced a shift toward more extreme rainfall events in recent decades.Investigations of cumulative rainfall anomalies over the summer season do notshow any trend to drier or moister conditions during the century. However, closeexamination reveals that rainfall variability in Southern Africa has experiencedsignificant modifications, especially in the recent decades. Interannual variabilityhas increased since the late 1960s. In particular, droughts became more intense andwidespread. More significantly, teleconnection patterns associated with SouthernAfrican rainfall variability changed from regional before the 70s to near global after,and an increased statistical association to the El Nio – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is observed. Numerical experiments with a French GCM indicate that these changes in teleconnections could be related to long-term variations in the Sea-Surface-Temperature background, which are part of the observed global warming signal.
Article
Full-text available
Recent UK government policy on climate change, and wider policy movement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, emphasise the building of adaptive capacity. But what are the institutional constraints that shape capacity to build adaptive organisations? The authors synthesise theory from social learning and institutional aspects of multilevel environmental governance to help unpack the patterns of individual and collective action within organisations that can enhance or restrict organisational adaptive capacity in the face of abrupt climate change. Theoretical synthesis is grounded by empirical work with a local dairy farmers group and two supporting public sector bodies that are both local actors in their own rights and which also shape the operating environment for other local actors (the Environment Agency and the Welsh Assembly and Assembly-sponsored public bodies). Providing space within and between local organisations for individuals to develop private as well as officially sanctioned social relationships is supported as a pathway to enable social learning. It is also a resource for adaptation that requires little financial investment but does call for a rethinking of the personal skills and working routines that are incentivised within organisations.
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response in Southern Africa through the lens of the 2002/03-food crisis in the region. It outlines improvements in information and operational procedures needed to enhance the response to future events. Also discussed are national and regional trade regime changes that would reduce the need for emergency response, and consider what lessons the 2002/03 crisis may have for the role of Strategic Grain Reserves.
Article
This paper reviews research traditions of vulnerability to environmental change and the challenges for present vulnerability research in integrating with the domains of resilience and adaptation. Vulnerability is the state of susceptibility to harm from exposure to stresses associated with environmental and social change and from the absence of capacity to adapt. Antecedent traditions include theories of vulnerability as entitlement failure and theories of hazard. Each of these areas has contributed to present formulations of vulnerability to environmental change as a characteristic of social-ecological systems linked to resilience. Research on vulnerability to the impacts of climate change spans all the antecedent and successor traditions. The challenges for vulnerability research are to develop robust and credible measures, to incorporate diverse methods that include perceptions of risk and vulnerability, and to incorporate governance research on the mechanisms that mediate vulnerability and promote adaptive action and resilience. These challenges are common to the domains of vulnerability, adaptation and resilience and form common ground for consilience and integration.
Chapter
Droughts are a regular feature of the African weather pattern. The incidence of drought (broadly defined as less than 70% of normal precipitation) in the western and northwestern part of the Republic of South Africa is about one year in three. The drought that commenced in 1978 affected, to varying degrees, about 75% of the area of the RSA (Baard, as cited by Wilhite, 1987). Average annual rainfall in the RSA exceeds 500 mm in only about 30% of the area. Thus, it is clear that considerable agricultural production takes place under arid and semiarid conditions and that large areas of the country are for much of the time under moisture stress.
Chapter
This chapter defines and describes early warning systems (EWS) by examining structures and functions of EWS. The focus of this book is on climate change, but other hazards help to better illustrate and understand EWS in the context of climate change. These include hazards which manifest rapidly, such as tsunamis, as well as creeping hazards which manifest slowly, such as drought. The fundamental tenet is that each EWS needs to be viewed as a social process which often involves technical components embedded in their social context. That leads to a preference for a 'First Mile' approach for designing EWS, which involves communities from the beginning of developing an EWS, rather than a 'Last Mile' approach, which adds people and communities towards the end of the design process. By keeping people and communities at the centre of an EWS from the beginning, the EWS can contribute to daily life and livelihoods, thereby supporting wider disaster risk reduction and sustainable development endeavours, rather than being a separate system waiting to be triggered only when a hazard appears. Yet any EWS has limitations. Those limitations need to be recognised and overcome through other approaches, with possibilities being to consider 'medium warning' and 'late warning' systems rather than just early warning. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014. All rights are reserved.
Article
Drought is one of the major environmental disasters in southern Africa. In recent years, the damage from droughts to the environment and economies of some countries was extensive, and the death toll of livestock and wildlife was unprecedented. Weather data often come from a very sparse meteorological network, incomplete and/or not always available in good time to enable relatively accurate and timely large scale drought detection and monitoring. Therefore, data obtained from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor on board the NOAA polar-orbiting satellites have been studied as a tool for drought monitoring and climate impact assessment in southern Africa. The AVHRR-based vegetation condition index (VCI) and temperature condition index (TCI) developed recently were used in this study because in other parts of the globe they showed good results when used for drought detection and tracking, monitoring excessive soil wetness, assessment of weather impacts on vegetation, and evaluation of vegetation health and productivity. The results clearly show that temporal and spatial characteristics of drought in southern Africa can be detected, tracked, and mapped by the VCI and TCI indices. These results were numerically validated by in situ data such as precipitation, atmospheric anomaly fields, and agricultural crop yield. In the later case, it was found that usable corn yield scenarios can be constructed from the VCI and TCI at approximately 6 (in some regions up to 13) weeks prior to harvest time. These indices can be especially beneficial when used together with ground data.