Water and People: Disentangling Socio-Economic Effects of the 2011 Drought in the Horn of Africa

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 11:15 AM
Room C112 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Jeanne M. Roningen, US Army Corps of Engineers, Hanover, NH; and J. B. Eylander

In recent years the intelligence and defense communities have indicated interest in understanding potential relationships between anomalous climate events and socio-economic consequences outside of the United States that could have implications for U.S. national security. In this research, potential linkages between retrospective climate analyses and several empirical socio-economic data sets in Somalia and Kenya are evaluated surrounding the 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa. Subnational-level data on internally displaced persons in Somalia from 2008-2012 are used to relate drought-related population movements to standardized precipitation and soil moisture indices at multiple temporal scales derived from retrospective climate analysis. Also assessed in light of the drought are the strength of relationships between drought and drought-induced migration as partitioned by livelihood zones, lag times for market price changes following drought, subnational market network connectivity, extent of al-Shabaab governance, and census data on household water infrastructure. Results suggest that drought-induced migration response was highly dependent on both drought severity and geographic location, which in this case may correspond to the absence of effective governance and/or similarly-located geographic changes in rainfall seasonality regimes. The research uses open-source software libraries to develop a framework for data analysis using results of atmospheric and land surface models that could help evaluate ramifications of climate-related events in conflict- or instability-affected areas and potentially inform policy questions on the provision of international monitoring, aid, or intervention.