FLUCTUATIONS IN DROUGHT OCCURRENCE AND PERCEPTIONS OF ITS POSITIVE CONSEQUENCES IN THE SAVANNA REGION OF NIGERIA
This study is on fluctuations in drought occurrence and perceptions of its positive consequences in the Savanna region of Nigeria. Data for seventy years (1941 to 2010) on rainfall were sourced from earlier researches for eight selected stations in the study area. The Bhalme and Mooley Drought Index (BMDI) was applied to the data to determine whether or not drought occurred in a particular year. Three different moving averages were applied to the drought series values as depicted by Bhalme and Mooley Drought Index (BMDI). This was done to remove the cyclic, seasonal and irregular patterns (smoothing of the time series) and clearly indicates variations from year to year and any abrupt climatic change in the drought series. Findings revealed various drought intensities in the selected stations during the period of study. Also, a desktop review and perceptions on the positive consequences of drought was carried out with information derived from various stakeholders such as farmers, traders, miners, military personnel and others using focus group discussion, excerpts from journals and books as well as observations by the researcher. This qualitative data and information collaborated the findings of the statistical tools (BMDI and Moving Averages) in the occurrence of drought in the study area and also gave insights into benefits derived from its occurrence by various socio-economic sectors (aviation, trade and commerce, tourism, sand mining, construction, leather work and military activities) of the economy in the study region.