Cointegration analysis of vulnerability index and standardised precipitation index in Mafeteng district, Lesotho
Hlalele, Bernard M.
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Given the high poverty levels in Africa, with most countries’ economy and populations’ livelihood dependent on rain-fed agriculture, land degradation among other environmental hazards has proven to be a major threat to economic growth and food insecurity, respectively. Drought, which is on the increase at the global level and said to create over 78% of other hazards, has aggravated land degradation. Dry conditions lessen soil particles cohesion force, thereby increasing susceptibility of such soils to be lost by wind and water. The current study aimed at estimating land degradation from drought hazard index, standardised precipitation index (SPI) over the drought declared district of Mafeteng Lesotho. Data were provided by Lesotho Meteorological Services for a period of 30 years (1984–2014). All missing values that existed in the collected precipitation data were filled with average values of the months with data. The computation of SPI was performed by using DrinC software in SPI-3 and SPI-Annual time step. The results revealed a constant condition of land degradation vulnerability over a 30-year period, implying a continuous loss of soil fertility, agricultural gross domestic product (GDP), water and bio-energy, malnutrition and increased poverty levels.