Adapting to Drought

Farmers, Famines and Desertification in West Africa

Adapting to Drought
  • By Michael Mortimore

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

    Online Publication Date:August 2010

    Online ISBN:9780511720772

    Hardback ISBN:9780521323123

    Paperback ISBN:9780521104272

  • Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511720772

    Subjects: Human geography

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.

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