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Title:Adjusting to drought conditions in an event-driven system: an example from a Namaqualand reserve
Author:Smith, A.B.ISNI
Book title:Pastoral economies in Africa and long-term responses to drought
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:In an environment categorized by infrequent and highly localized rainfall, free access to the land, as practised by herders in the Richtersveld (Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa), may well be the best way to make optimum use of the sparse resources. Different zones must be available if a herder is to maintain his stock throughout the year. During successive low rainfall years adapting to these drought conditions may require a herder to use a number of strategies to keep his breeding stock intact. These include movement beyond the reserve with stock where possible, as well as in and out of wage labour on the mines. A herder has to weigh up the risks of short-term advantages for the future survival of his herd and the needs of his family. Bibliogr.