Image Database Export Citations


Drought and Livestock in Semi-Arid Africa and Southwest Asia

Show full item record

Type: Working Paper
Author: Blench, Roger; Marriage, Zoë
Date: 1999
Agency: Overseas Development Institute, London
Series: Working Paper, no. 117
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4730
Sector: Grazing
Region: Africa
East Asia
Subject(s): drought
Abstract: "Recent high-profile media coverage of El Niño and similar climatic anomalies has perhaps tended to obscure the fact that livestock producers in the fragile environments of Africa and the Near East are facing worsening problems of resource degradation that have rendered their existing strategies inadequate. This overview describes the existing situation and the changes in the present century that have led to pastoralists being under unprecedented pressures and thus unable to respond appropriately. Droughts, or periods of unusually low rainfall, are part of the expected pattern of precipitation in semi-arid Africa, and the common strategy of pastoralists in the past was to move to areas with higher rainfall where vegetation persists. A bundle of factors has made this increasingly impractical, including the establishment of national frontiers, the expansion of cultivation even in very dry areas, and a marked increase in total livestock numbers. The consequence is that droughts in Sub-Saharan Africa now cause significant humanitarian problems and localised degradation, since large numbers of animals converge on certain pastures, especially around wells. This in turn causes long-term impoverishment among pastoralists, since they must sell animals cheaply and cannot afford to rebuy them when the drought ends. At the same time it places extra stress on already ineffectual veterinary services, since weakened animals are more susceptible to pathogens."

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Drought and livestock in semi arid africa.pdf 468.1Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show full item record