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Climate Change & Droughts in South Africa Is There a Connection

Climate Change & Droughts in South Africa: Is There a Connection?

The worsening issue of climate change has affected South Africa big-time, particularly with the increase of droughts in our country. 

In this article, we hope to help you understand how climate change brings about a troubling number of droughts.

What is the relationship between climate change and the regularity of droughts in South Africa?

There is a direct relationship between climate change and droughts in South Africa.

As some effects of climate change include higher temperatures and lesser rainfall, droughts in South Africa will increase and worsen because of the country’s lack of water resources.

How does climate change contribute to the increase in droughts?

How does climate change contribute to the increase in droughts
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Since climate change means warmer temperatures and changes in the timing of water availability, the number of droughts increases.

Warmer temperatures reduce surface water and dry out the soil, leading to what we normally know as droughts.

Since we can’t predict the weather, given its current irregularities, it’d be hard for us to resolve the water scarcity problem.

In the worst-case scenario, plants, animals and humans, like us, would have to deal with managing what little water resources we have for as long as we can.

What are the effects of droughts in South Africa?

What are the effects of droughts in South Africa
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The droughts in South Africa have caused a decrease in clean water supply. This then affects the livelihood of many locals, increases the risk of food insecurity, and damages the natural habitats of various species.

With our rivers drying up, due to climate change, we’re now lacking an abundant supply of clean water. In turn, there are conflicts among water users about its fair distribution.

Plus, there are health concerns to take into consideration, since some water resources are not suitable for consumption. This could even lead to more waterborne diseases like cholera and diarrhoea.

Apart from water shortage, droughts directly impact the agricultural industry. Farming is one of the most important sources of livelihood here, especially in rural areas, but it’s currently going through a pinch because of climate change.

Since climate change results in unpredictable weather, may it be rainy or sunny days, this makes it difficult for over 200 million locals to farm across the country.

During a drought, most crops won’t be able to grow and livestock production also decreases. Iff this continues, farmers may lose their jobs because of low yields.

If our farmers are not able to reap good crops, we won’t have much to eat, making supply very low while demand is obviously still high.

Food insecurity in our country then becomes a harsher battle to face with around 11% of the population already struggling with it as of writing.

Finally, animals may also lose their homes as their natural habitats deteriorate in droughts.

This is especially true for fish that are living in rivers or lakes that are close to being completely dried up. Some endangered species like elephants and cheetahs may even go extinct because of the scarce resources and ruined ecosystems.


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