The historical documentation on drought shows that droughts occurred in Ethiopia for many years, and since 1950 their occurrence has substantially increased. In drought-stricken areas of Ethiopia, it is very difficult to carry out rain-fed agriculture. Hence, it would be appropriate to introduce irrigated agriculture to reduce crop failure risk. Hence, some appropriate controlling measures against the anthropogenic causes of drought should be taken to minimize impacts of drought.
Rainfall and vegetation information obtained from satellite data has been found to be a good supplement to the conventional data sources for early warning in Ethiopia. In some remote and inaccessible areas these data are the only available source of information. The fact that these data are continuous in space and can be processed for remote areas in near-real time has made them indispensable for drought monitoring. Yet these sources have some shortcomings. They are still far from being the best data. Further efforts are required to improve the accuracy of rainfall estimates and make the best use of the vegetation index data.
Ethiopia suffers from droughts very often, and in some particular years almost the whole territory is subjected to drought (NMSA, 1996a). The seriousness of the climate-related food problem in Ethiopia requires further development of an early warning system. One of the most important aspects of the problem is to define the frequency at which drought may occur during the crop-growing season in different parts of the country. Preparation of drought probability map based on this information can help develop an effective early warning system for monitoring drought.
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