Adapting to Drought

Adapting to Drought

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This book embodies the results of thirteen years of research in drought-prone rural areas in the semi-arid zone of northern Nigeria. It describes the patterns of adaptive behaviour observed among Hausa, Ful'be and Manga communities in response to recurrent drought in the 1970s and 1980s. The question of desertification is explored in an area where the visible evidence of moving sand dunes is dramatic blame are examined in relation to the field evidence. A critique is offered of deterministic theories and authoritarian solutions. Professor Mortimore demonstrates a parallel between the observable resilience of semi-arid ecosystems and the adaptive strategies of the human communities that inhabit them and suggests policy directions for strengthening that resilience.Meanwhile, the survival of millions of families, now as aforetime, depends on the successful exercise of self-reliance. ... It may be characterised, for example, in such contradictions as the following: expert opinion says that grazing too many ... land; indiscriminate deforestation causes desert encroachment - but people go on cutting trees; population growth causes pressure on the land - but couples beget. ... Another part of the answer lies in conflicting perspectives of scale and time.

Title:Adapting to Drought
Author:Michael Mortimore
Publisher:Cambridge University Press - 1989-03-30


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