Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version

February 1997


Published in Drought Network News Vol. 9, No. 1, Feb. 1997. Published by the International Drought Information Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


From the time that the London Missionary Society first took Zimbabwean rainfall records at Hope Fountain in 1888, the worst droughts on record are the consecutive dry spells from 1911 to 1914, the 1946–47 drought, the 1960 drought, and the 1972–73 rainy season, which was the driest period of colonial Zimbabwe. The country also had serious food shortages in 1903, 1916, 1922, 1933, and 1942. Although the people of precolonial Zimbabwe experienced recurrent droughts, they generally had well-developed coping mechanisms that prevented high death tolls (Iliffe, 1990).

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