The need for integration of drought monitoring tools for proactive food security management in sub-Saharan Africa

Tsegaye Tadesse, Menghestab Haile, Gabriel Senay, Brian D. Wardlow, Cody L. Knutson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Reducing the impact of drought and famine remains a challenge in sub-Saharan Africa despite ongoing drought relief assistance in recent decades. This is because drought and famine are primarily addressed through a crisis management approach when a disaster occurs, rather than stressing preparedness and risk management. Moreover, drought planning and food security efforts have been hampered by a lack of integrated drought monitoring tools, inadequate early warning systems (EWS), and insufficient information flow within and between levels of government in many sub-Saharan countries. The integration of existing drought monitoring tools for sub-Saharan Africa is essential for improving food security systems to reduce the impacts of drought and famine on society in this region. A proactive approach emphasizing integration requires the collective use of multiple tools, which can be used to detect trends in food availability and provide early indicators at local, national, and regional scales on the likely occurrence of food crises. In addition, improving the ability to monitor and disseminate critical drought-related information using available modern technologies (e.g., satellites, computers, and modern communication techniques) may help trigger timely and appropriate preventive responses and, ultimately, contribute to food security and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-279
Number of pages15
JournalNatural Resources Forum
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Decision support system
  • Drought
  • Early warning system
  • Food security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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