Following two consecutive below-average monsoon seasons, 330 million people are affected by drought across 10 of India’s 29 states, according to the government. Water shortages are severe. People are facing food shortages and livelihoods have been severely damaged.
The focus of this report will be Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, particularly the Bundelkhand region that covers 13 districts across the two states, as well as Maharashtra state. These areas are particularly affected after suffering from three consecutive years of drought and successive crop failures. Over the past year these regions have received less than 50% of what is considered the normal amount of rainfall. Over 150 million people are estimated to be affected in these three states.
Elsewhere, 17 million people are affected in Telangana state. A further 30 million people are affected in Karnataka, where up to 40,000 people are reported to have migrated in recent months (Business insider 25/03/2016). To the east, 16 million people are affected in Orissa and 23 million people are affected in Andhra Pradesh. Over the past month, the situation has also started to significantly worsen in Gujarat and Haryana to the northwest (New India Express 25/04/2016).
The situation has intensified as parts of the country have also been severely affected by a heatwave since the end of March. Temperatures reached unusual highs of above 45ºC in the first week of April.