Sahelian Drought

Mean annual rainfall anomalies in the western and central Sahel, 1897-1988, compared to a reference period of 1941-70. The curve is a moving 10-year mean. Source: Adams, 1992.

The 1970s droughts in particular brought television images of starving people and dehydrated livestock to the world. While drought continues to be common in West Africa, the length and intensity of the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s was, as far as is known for the past several centuries, unprecedented.


Adams, W.M., 1992. Wasting the Rain: Rivers, People, and Planning in Africa. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd.

The correct citation for this page is:
Milich, L., 1997. Sahelian drought.

The Table of Contents of my work on Sahelian drought mechanisms and rainfall is available.

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This site last updated July 14, 1997.