Famine in Africa

The map below shows areas prone to crop failures due to drought . Using satellites, we can monitor these areas to see if a problem might be developing.

famine areas

When a drought occurs and the harvest is small, people must get food from other sources. If they do not have money saved or anything to sell, they cannot buy what they need, even if food is for sale.When farmers and the people who depend on them cannot grow, find, or buy enough food to live on, it is called famine. Unexpected lack of rainfall can be the first sign of drought. This can lead to famine, if some other things happen to make the situation worse. These can include:

  • If the rains stop for a long time >
  • If farmers cannot save their crops by irrigation
  • If there isn't enough time before the end of the season for farmers to replant their crops after they have failed
  • If families can't find any plants growing in the wild which are not poisonous
  • If families have no food left over from last season
  • If families have no money to buy food
  • If markets have no food to sell
  • If war interferes with people's ability to grow or buy food

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