HOWHAVE VARIOUS COMMUNITIES FACED THE TRIAL OF DROUGHT?
Droughtpresent variant challenges that impact adversely on the social andeconomic welfare of the people. These variant complexities exist dueto the integral role held by water in the society. The impacts aredirect or indirect. Direct effects are a result of the droughtaffecting factors that depend on water for their wellbeing. Examplereduction in crop yield, rise in mortality rate for animals and humanbeings. Indirect effects include the consequences that are evident asa result of the direct impacts. In such situations, the affectedpeople are thrown into a wave of confusion coupled with anxiety andwill do whatever it takes to survive these hard times.
Thoughdrought is catastrophic, the human nature has proven to rise abovethe calamities and adverse effects occasioned by drought. An analysisand synthesis of various sources will demonstrate that.
Egan,Timothy a renowned columnist of New York Times, in his book “In aDry Land,” The Worst Hard Time tells a story of how once green andvegetative plains turned to dust when drought hit the area (Eganand Hall-Bennett).He vividly presents the setting of the plains and the times of thedrought. He, in fact, compares the endless winds that stirred up“black blizzards” to the biblical plague (Eganand Hall-Bennett).This illuastration shows the repetitiveness and the wrath that thewinds blew with in the deserts. Egan observed that the plains werenot suitable for farming anymore and resulted in great hunger andhuman catastrophe. In the midst of all the challenges, the peoplefaced, others were in pursuit of advantages that such momentspresented. For example, immigrants being lured to acquire the droughthit lands under claims that the land was reliable agriculturally(Eganand Hall-Bennett).
Despitethe frustrations and threat to human survival, a result of thedrought, Egan presents evidence of people so determined to rise abovethe discouragement against human procreation. Hazel Lucas forinstance, takes his chance and gets a baby during these hard times.The baby, however, passes on as a result of dust pneumonia.Thecourage to take the risk and make the decision to parenthooddemonstrates that human beings, though affected and crippledadversely by a calamity, in this case, drought, will still strive tolive in normalcy regardless of the cost and implications (Eganand Hall-Bennett).
Rosenbergof national geographic covering the hardship of lack of water insouthern Ethiopia presents a vivid narration of the challenges thatfaced her audience. In those parts of the nation, similar to theAmerican high plains, both places face a shortage of water. Therewere also challenges and hardships but at different times andmagnitude. For instance, the land was not productive in the highplains of America. This unproductivity of the land was however notthe case for the Egyptian drought. Crops could be irrigated withwater that was fetched far away. Rosenberg presents a representationof hope and evidence of farming as depicted in the story by a Binayo,a woman. She tells a story of hardship, desperation, struggle anddetermination.
Binayohas to wake up early every morning in most cases four in the morningwhen it is still dark (Rosenberg). She has to run and make strides onhard rocks to the rivers. After fetching water, 50 pounds of water onher back, she has to climb up steep slopes on her way back to thevillage (Rosenberg). This is a sacrifice and determination that Icompare to the bold decision by a man presented in “In a Dry Land” to father a child in the midst of a draught crises. These peopleclearly demonstrate that human nature cannot be swept out easily bycalamities that befall them. Even in these hard times, people willstill find ways to rise above the discouragements presented to themand purpose to maintain adjusted normalcy in their lives. The twoscenarios, both present people, faced with long range challenges thatare beyond human intervention. Nevertheless, they both curve theirway out in pursuit of what is dear to them.
Thedrought continues to take away the hopes of the Ethiopian people.Water becomes hard to come by, that found is dirty and unsafe forhuman consumption. The once reliable river is growing to exhaustion(Rosenberg). The same is experienced by the American as told by Eganin his book “In a Dry Land,” he talks about people who faced cropfailure, experienced the worst form of dust storms.
Caldwelland Boyd conducted an in-depth analysis on drought and documentedtheir work titled ‘Copingand resilience in farming families affected by drought.” The studywas based on the rural families of Wales and Australia. The emphasisof the study was centered on survival and resilience in times ofdrought (Caldwelland Boyd).Caldwelland Boyd present us with a vivid story of how a community that wasonce supplied with sufficient water was now faced with inadequatewater supply occasioned by the drought that caused the river to dryup. Frustration takes the better of the people. Cultivating theircrops becomes a nightmare. It is reported that the community shiftedto become a resource. Community events were organized, aiming atestablishing a sense of belonging (Caldwell and Boyd). As a result,the isolation that would hit the people was averted. More so, membersof the communities contributed ideas that would increase theirabilities to cope with the adverse effects of drought (Caldwell andBoyd).
VirginiaWittrock and her colleagues intheir work “Canadian prairie rural communities: theirvulnerabilities and adaptive capacities to drought, “provide uswith a case study that continues to reinforce the assertion thatregardless of the hardships presented by drought, humans will in anyscenario find ways to modify their lives and adopt. Virginiapoints out the hardship the Canadian people faced. Their livestockwas wiped out, crops productivity reduced immensely in addition tohard life due to lack of clean water for drinking (Wittrock,Kulshreshtha, and Wheaton).This however, was not the end for them. Just as articulated in theabove readings, the Canadians did find ways to adopt. The droughtsthat hit in the 1920s, 1930s and 1988 presented them with a clearinformation and direction on what way to take. As a result, thepeople were provided with piped water from Red Deer River (Wittrock,Kulshreshtha, and Wheaton).In addition to that, farmers embraced new ways of farming and dugdeep ponds for water storage to ensure that the effects ofevaporation would not be immense to cause a water shortage. Duringthe drought, people become inventive and sensitive on how they usedthe available water. For example, the inhabitants of Cabri used theirlaundry water for irrigation (Wittrock,Kulshreshtha, and Wheaton).The above excerpt is evidence of dedicated, resilient and adaptivepeople in time of calamities.
Theabove discussion, presented by the variant readings has clearly showndifferent people facing drought at different times. Drought comeswith catastrophic impacts as presented in all the readings. In fact,effects such as crop failure, loss of live both humans and animals,drying of sources of water and lack of clean water cuts across allthe case studies presented herein. Despite all these developments,human nature has proven to stand out and face the challenges withdetermination and resilience. Egan tells us about a man who dares totry fatherhood in a drought hit America. Virginia Wittrock presents acase study of Canadian people who chose to adapt by changing ways offarming and resorting to water conservation approaches. In a moreresolute solution, piped water had to be laid from Red Deer Rive toensure reliability in the water supply. Aylito Binayo demonstratesthe height of sacrifice that man can accommodate in times of drought.She walks up early in the morning to fetch water miles away, carries50 pounds of water on her back and makes three trips every day. Itis, therefore, certain that human nature did and will continue toface drought with resilience, determination to survive as opposed toquitting and giving in to the adverse impacts of drought withoutdoing whatever is necessary to keep their lives going.
Caldwell,Kirra, and Candice P. Boyd. “Coping and Resilience in FarmingFamilies Affected by Drought.” Ruraland remote health9.2 (2009): 1088. Web.
Egan,Timothy and Vanessa Hall-Bennett. TheWorst Hard Time.Moline, IL: Moline Public Library, 2000. Print
Rosenberg,Tina. “The Burden of Thirst.” National Geographic. April 2010.Web.http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/04/water-slaves/rosenberg
Wittrock,Virginia, Suren N. Kulshreshtha, and Elaine Wheaton. “CanadianPrairie Rural Communities: Their Vulnerabilities and AdaptiveCapacities to Drought.” Mitigationand Adaptation Strategies for Global Change16.3 (2011): 267–290. Web.