Drought originates from a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time, usually a season or more. This deficiency results in a water shortage for some activity, group, or environmental sector. Different from other hazards in that it develops slowly, sometimes over years, and its onset can be masked by a number of factors. Drought can be devastating: water supplies dry up, crops fail to grow, animals die and malnutrition and ill health become widespread.

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