A Study Of The Impact Of Drought On Water Supply


This study focuses on the cultural content, farming, and social economic impacts of Lese Oalai village, Gulf province Papua New Guinea, during drought. The study is expected to find difficulties compared from the past and with the present experiences of the drought with the beliefs of the people. Drought is a natural hazard that occurs all around the world, but it should not be viewed as merely a physical phenomenon. Many scholars have been presented to explain but the literature review focuses on three themes that are relate to drought which is cultural content, farming, socio-economic impacts and finally ways of drought management, recommendation on managing drought.

Cultural Content

People from another village perform rituals dealing with environment in regards to rain as spiritual force to control the life and existence of nature in prayer to stop the rain to fall. As seen by the people of Lese Oalai, they believe that it is a curse done by people from another village that they perform rituals to stop rain that fall in the village. Here in Papua New Guinea we have many cultural beliefs regarding spiritual, physical and natural beliefs. Jobbová et al. (2018) stated that “ritual activity as a mechanism for dealing with environmental stress has been discussed in many ethnographic and archaeological studies worldwide”. Many studies have found that cultural rituals also have a big impact on the lives of people around the world with the perceptions of them believing their cultural practices. It is seen as curse from another clan that may have done something bad to another clan which is seen as a punishment by the clan that spelled the curse.


Sepik et al., (2009) claims that dry condition or drought can be understood from the climate regions with the change of the influence of actual climate change, scientific information, socio-cultural factors and substance agriculture is one of the economic activity and most of the crops are rainfed and that is very little irrigation. This seen by the people of Lese Oalai village that during the drought the people find it really difficult to grow plants or harvest crops because the ground turns dry and strong, and makes it hard to plant crops. Due to this the people do not know how to maintain the gardens.

Drought is a natural hazard that happens all around the word which people cannot control but to manage the risk with possible solutions to minimize those social and economic problems that arises in the communities and the country as a whole. Kesavan & Swaminathan (2006) claims that life on planet earth is used to facing natural disasters, which is seen by the people of Lese Oalai village over the past years affected by drought.

Socio Economic Impacts

The drought has affected the people of Lese Oalai village in terms of agriculture seen as a negative impact, unfortunately the literature review focuses on the perceptive of the people. Drought is a serious socio-economic challenge to many countries in the world. Which is seen by the people of Lese Oalai village that has been affected with food, water supply and other economic activities they do in the village to sustain their livelihood. Many scholars have focused on the agricultural impacts on drought based on the farmers perceptive during drought. Many scholars have shared the views on socio economic impacts on drought particularly on farmers point of view stating that the cost of store goods have negative impacts on their lives of the people and also, they are paying taxes to the government for basic needs needed during the drought.


Drought is a threat to the financial and natural resources health of great plain ranches that rely nonirrigated rangeland. This will affect the communities that have been affected with the natural disaster. Haigh & Knutson (2019) stated that “the nature of the drought itself makes management problematic”. It is difficult to manage the period of drought, thus the government proposing proper water supply for the people that have been affected with drought or any natural disaster must implement good management policies for drought management. “The State plays a major role in water resources management and these multiple interventions have a huge cost to the State budget and have forced the government to reconsider its options”. In order to achieve the drought management plan is to compare and contrast the recurring drought and understand the pattern of the disaster to be prepared when the time comes so that everyone is aware of the signs and symptoms of the drought. More awareness should also be carried out by the national disaster department to advocate to the people about any natural disaster so that they can be able to manage themselves when the actual time comes.


Reviewing the literature, drought is a natural disaster that affects the lives of people around the world. Goodrich et al. (2011) stated that “The most basic definition of drought is that of an episode of unusually low precipitation that causes damage to agriculture, ecosystems, and freshwater supplies”. This leads to my main focus on the literature review to get the insight of people’s perception on the livelihood of the people of Lese Oalai village that are been affected with this natural disaster. The vulnerability of the people on this recurring disaster is prolonged because the provincial government does not have any plans to help the people with this recurring drought. The vulnerability of the people is determined by the natural disaster and the people that are in power in the social system in the province such as the provincial and national government should see that the people are affected with this natural hazard, thus come up with solutions to minimize the risk and social issues in the community.

Most literatures made mention on socio-economic impacts farming, and cultural contents to make people understand the concept on drought as a natural disaster that the government should look deeper into it to manage the problems that have been created by the natural disaster.

Although the gaps that are serious remains that no literature on drought impacts on services such as Health and Education. Though it is a natural disaster that is affecting millions of people around the world today there will be undoubtedly more research arising to address these gaps.


  1. Diggs, D. M. (1991). DROUGHT EXPERIENCE AND PERCEPTION OF CLIMATIC CHANGE AMONG GREAT PLAINS Author ( s ): David M. Diggs Source : Great Plains Research, Vol. 1, No. 1 ( February 1991 ), pp. 114-132 Published by : University of Nebraska Press Stable URL : http://www.jst. 1(1), 114–132.
  2. Drought characteristics and management in North Africa and the Near East. (n.d.).
  3. Goodrich, G. B., Thompson, J. K., Wingard, S. D., Batson, K. J., Goodrich, G. B., Thompson, J. K., … Batson, K. J. (2011). The 2007 Mid-South Summer Drought and Heat Wave in Historical Perspective
  4. Haigh, T., &Knutson, C. (2019). Author ( s ): Tonya Haigh and Cody Knutson Published by : University of Nebraska Press Stable URL : https://www.jstor.org/stable/23779892. 23(1), 51–58.
  5. Jobbová, E., Helmke, C., & Bevan, A. (2018). Ritual responses to drought : An examination of ritual expressions in Classic Maya written sources. 759–781.
  6. Juana, J. S., Makepe, P. M., Mangadi, K. T., &Narayana, N. (2014). The Socio-economic Impact of Drought in Botswana. International Journal of Environment and Development, 11(1), 43–60. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282132415
  7. Maresh, S. (2008). The Social and Economic Impacts of Climate Change. Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal, (21), 15.
  8. Pelser, A. J. (2001). Socio-cultural strategies in mitigating drought impacts and water scarcity IN. 30, 52–74.
  9. Sepik, E., Bay, M., Highlands, S., Highlands, W., Ireland, N., & Britain, W. N. (2009). Papua New Guinea. 1–10.
  10. Ziolkowska, J. (2016). Socio-Economic Implications of Drought in the Agricultural Sector and the State Economy. Economies, 4(4), 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/economies4030019
09 March 2021
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now