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Exploring What a Drought Is

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Exploring What a Drought Is

Drought is a long period of dry weather when there is no rainfall at

all for weeks, months or even years. Rivers and streams stop

flowing. Water in pools, ponds, or reservoirs dries out. Plants

die. Drought becomes a natural disaster. Some droughts occur for a

very long period of time, and cause great hardship to people, plants

and animals. Every year, droughts take place in many parts of the

world, mostly in deserts. People plan for drought be storing water in

wells, water tanks, etc. and by growing crops that can stay alive in

hot and dry weather.

How does drought effect the people?

When drought occurs, lakes, rivers, and wells dry up. In the hot and

dry surrounding plants die, and some may even catch fire. Animals

have to wander around to find food to eat and water to drink, and they

eventually die if drought lasts for a long period. The strong wind

blows the topsoil that is very fertile away and this makes it harder

to grow crops in the future. With no crops for food, people have to

go get food from somewhere else, otherwise they would starve and die.

Moreover, in poorer countries like Africa, drought brings disease,

famine, and deaths. Famine often comes about when there is a long

period of drought. It happens when a large number of people do not

have enough to eat, since the hot sun kills the crops and dries up the

water supplies. Animals that are kept for meat and milk die from

starvation. The little amount of water that is available is usually

very full of germs, and dirty. Moreover, when people are poor, they

fight each other or attack the government. This often results ...

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...ts stop the soil blowing away in strong wind. In some

countries dry, sandy soil is sprayed with a mixture of oil and rubber

to stop it blowing about. Then seedlings of acacia and eucalyptus

trees, which grow fast in dry soils, are planted. Their roots hold

the soil together.

Crops grow strong in the shade and shelter of the trees, and the trees

themselves eventually provide valuable wood.

Plant breeding and manure

Scientists are trying to help reduce the effects of drought by

breeding different kinds of plants that can survive with little

water. Already, drought-resistant crops such as millet and sorghum

are being grown in several dry areas.

Putting animals manure and compost on dry soils helps them to hold

water longer. These also bind the soil together and prevent it drying

up and blowing away.
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