Map of the day

I am still working through Geoffrey Blainey’s A Very Short History of the World, and I am more and more aware of how bad my sense of geography is, even though I have travelled a fair bit, compared to some.

I remember on an aeroplane flying somewhere over Greenland, I was chatting to a young lad as we peered out of the window at the ice below, and despite being near midnight is was summer so it was perfectly light below. His mum came up to find out what was going on, and we all chatted about how odd it was to be up there at midnight looking down on bright ice covered land. She was trying to get her head round flying ahead of the sun and, she felt, that was why it was still light, but of course it was because the earth is tilted, but it was very hard to explain that without a little ball of Planet Earth, to show how the sun would hit the earth as it rotated on its axis and around the sun.

Thinking about the Drought in East Africa I thought it might be good to have a look at what kind of area we are talking about, so I thought I would introduce a Map of the Day feature to this Blog.

So here is a Google Map of Dadaab, where the refugee camp is, of nearly 400,000 people. Maybe 250 kms from the sea.

Here is where it is in East Africa:

This is the desert people are walking across:

Wall to wall that is over 100 kms of it.

For comparison, here is the South Coast, about the same size section:

If we think of the resources available to these different regions, well, a picture or two is worth a thousand words.


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