CBSE Class 8 Disaster Management Drought

Read and download CBSE Class 8 Disaster Management Drought chapter in NCERT book for Class 8 Social Science. You can download latest NCERT eBooks for 2021 chapter wise in PDF format free from This Social Science textbook for Class 8 is designed by NCERT and is very useful for students. Please also refer to the NCERT solutions for Class 8 Social Science to understand the answers of the exercise questions given at the end of this chapter


What is drought?

The word drought instantly brings images of dry, parched land, no rainfall, crop-failures, starvation and bad living conditions to our mind. In simple terms, drought is a condition of acute scarcity of water, food, fodder and employment due to scanty rainfall in an area. Crop failure is a serious consequence of drought.

The picture shows Shyamu and his friends praying for rain outside their school. The parched land they stand on is dry and cracked. Unfortunately, prayers do not bring rains. Let us find out from this lesson, what this village can do to mitigate drought….

Drought can lead to an acute shortage of drinking water and water for normal domestic needs, caused by deficiency in surface and sub-surface water. This is because scanty rainfall during drought is insufficient to recharge tanks and wells or underground water sources. There is also an acute shortage of water for agricultural operations, including the lack of moisture in soil to grow crops, affecting production. Hence lesser persons would be hired in the farms, leading to unemployment.

Are we all vulnerable to drought, like Shyamu?

Drought is one of the most widespread disasters that India faces, affecting more than 70% of cultivable land. Often, people do not react to drought like they do to other sudden disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones and floods, since drought conditions develop over a period of time, and without immediately perceptible changes to our environment. Hence, drought is called a ‘slow onset’ disaster.

The western belt including major parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat face frequent drought because of weak monsoons as well as degraded environment. Among other prominent pockets of drought-prone areas figure Western Orissa and Rayalaseema & Telangana areas of Andhra Pradesh., Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Central Maharashtra, Interior Karnataka, West Bengal, parts of Tamil Nadu and even water rich states like Punjab, Haryana, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh also experience drought due to insufficient rainfall in certain areas.

In India, 191 districts out of 543 are severely drought prone. In areas that experience drought frequently, the people are more vulnerable to its devastating effects. Two consecutive years of drought means a higher degree of vulnerability in the second year. In 2003, most parts of Rajasthan is said to be experiencing the fourth consecutive year of drought.

Also, certain sections of population living in drought-prone areas are more vulnerable than others. Usually, these sections are people living in rural areas, who depend on agriculture and animal husbandry entirely for a living, or tribals who depend upon forestproduce.

Indirect aggravators of Drought?

We have learnt that prolonged scanty rainfall causes drought. In some areas, however, the effects of drought are magnified by other reasons: Environmental Degradation, especially the loss of green cover affects rainfall received in the region, increasing the possibility of water stress. In areas where vegetation has decreased over the years, rainwater is easily washed away into What causes Environmental

Degradation?  Cutting down trees  Soil Erosion  Excessive use of ground or surface water  Loss of biodiversity  Global Warming Important Terms: Water-stress: Water stress occurs when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use, and stress causes deterioration of fresh water resources rivers and the sea, and not retained by the soil, leading to low productivity. Over exploitation of water depletes the source faster than rainfall could recharge it, especially in areas that receive scanty rainfall.

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