The impact of natural disasters, due to environmental change, on the livelihood of the Lake Victoria basin
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The impact of natural disasters, due to environmental change, on the livelihood of the Lake Victoria basin, Alfred Opere Department of Meteorology University of Nairobi
The major forms of disasters include: Droughts, Floods, Terrorism, Landslides, HIV/AIDS and disease epidemics, Transport accidents, Fires/industrial hazards and pollution. There are other extreme outbreaks of diseases, such as cholera, malaria, typhoid and meningitis, which have become threats as a result of HIV/AIDS. The focus of this paper is on the natural disasters, which are rampant within the lake Victoria basin and are related to extreme weather and climate events such as droughts, floods and strong winds, among others. Extreme weather and climate events influence the welfare of the society and entire economy of the country with droughts and floods having the highest adverse effects. The sectors that experience the immediate effects include agriculture, health, and water resources among others. Droughts and floods contribute to the most devastating natural hazards in the basin, which often translate into disasters in the riparian countries. Droughts affect food production, availability of water, and generation hydroelectric power for industrial and domestic consumption. The majority of short falls in food supply recorded in 1928, 1933-34, 1937, 1939, 1942-44, 1947, 1951, 1952-55, 1957.58m 1984/85 and 1999-2000 could be easily associated with rainfall deficits experienced in the respective years. The intensity, duration and total magnitude of the rains are some of the key factors affecting the agricultural production. The droughts may also lead to outbreak of some unique diseases including those related to water scarcity.