in: Everisto Mapedza / Daniel Tsegai / Michael Bruntrup / Robert McLeman (eds.), Drought challenges: policy options for developing countries (Current Directions in Water Scarcity Research 2), Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 15-32
Droughts have become more frequent and severe in many regions due to climate change, with anthropogenic alteration of environmental and hydrological processes aggravating drought impacts. While the underlying causes, projections, and measurement of droughts are still critical subjects of intense scientific debate among climate scholars, there is a general agreement in empirical research on the growing impacts of recurring droughts in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The West African Sahel and much of East Africa have particularly been high risk regions for recurrent droughts. Aside from well-known Sahelian droughts in the 1970s and 1980s that recorded millions of deaths, recent drought impacts on food production and water scarcity resulted in food and water crises for more than 1 million people in the Sahelian countries of Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, and Mauritania. This chapter provides an overview on current and future drought related challenges with regard to migration and conflicts in SSA. Based on that, central policy recommendations are formulated.