Download e-book for iPad: Adapting to Drought: Farmers, Famines and Desertification in by Michael Mortimore
By Michael Mortimore
This ebook embodies the result of 13 years of study in drought-prone rural parts within the semi-arid region of northern Nigeria. It describes the styles of adaptive behaviour saw between Hausa, Ful'be and Manga groups based on recurrent drought within the Seventies and Eighties. The query of desertification is explored in a space the place the obvious facts of relocating sand dunes is dramatic blame are tested with regards to the sphere facts. A critique is available of deterministic theories and authoritarian recommendations. Professor Mortimore demonstrates a parallel among the observable resilience of semi-arid ecosystems and the adaptive options of the human groups that inhabit them and indicates coverage instructions for strengthening that resilience.
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Additional info for Adapting to Drought: Farmers, Famines and Desertification in West Africa
They include, for example, differences in material culture, population density, settlement pattern and the spatial mobility of people and herds. The individuality of African food production systems is as relevant to controlling desertification as to improving productivity, and prescriptions also need to be adaptable to the social and political values in community regions (Morgan and Pugh, 1969). -•"' ^meroon '• 0° 1 BIOCLIMATIC ZONES | I l l l l l HYPER-ARID i" I I I ! 1 Bioclimatic zones and desertification in the subSaharan zone of northern Africa (after UNEP, 1977a) i i .
ARIDITY IN NORTHERN NIGERIA Those who have accepted an equation between drought and the Sahel, and between the Sahel and francophone West African countries, may be surprised to find the problem discussed in relation to Nigeria. Certainly, no attention was given by the international media to the millions of drought-affected Nigerians who, in the 1970s, out-numbered those of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali and Niger combined. The view is also commonly encountered that Nigeria's oil wealth somehow excluded her from the list of casualties, as if governments, rather than people, suffer from starvation.
But arid and semi-arid ecosystems are biologically adapted to frequent climatic oscillations, which have occurred in the last few millennia. There is evidence that grassland and woodland can recover, given protection, even on sand dunes. Secondly, the concept of biological potential can have meaning only in relation to a supposed prior state - whose estimation, however, is open to doubt. It is not even agreed whether the savannas of West Africa are a climatic climax or a fire climax (Anyadike, 1982), let alone what the potential may be in smaller areas with a long history of dense settlement.
Adapting to Drought: Farmers, Famines and Desertification in West Africa by Michael Mortimore