The drought of the 1960s

With the recent announcement that the whole country has been declared drought stricken, the thoughts of older people may well return to the drought of the 1960s.

This was so long lasting and so devastating that it now seems slightly surprising that it left no visible mark, no obvious scar of any kind which would tell younger generations about those years which, for so many, were very tough.  It is indeed amazing that nature can recover so quickly. I imagine, for instance, that those who fought in the First World War in Flanders in northern Europe would not have believed that the totally ruined landscape could ever be restored to normality.  Here, a third to a half of the country’s entire national herd died and it might have been believed that it would take years before those numbers were replaced.

Yet somehow this did happen relatively quickly. Similarly, ignorant newcomers to the country as myself, looked at the environment and assumed that this was its normal state with not a wisp of grass or weed on the ground and not a leaf on any of the trees and thickets.  Naturally locals were quick to explain that in normal years they did have food from their cattle and goats, that they did go to the lands, did plough and did raise crops. It was almost impossible to believe.  Yet, looking back from today’s vantage point, it may well be contended that the normal years are those of drought or semi- drought, not those of abundant rain. 

Editor's Comment
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