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Title:Perceptions of environmental crises in Eastern Uganda, 1880-1980
Author:MacMaster, D.ISNI
Book title:Pastoral economies in Africa and long-term responses to drought
Geographic term:Uganda
Abstract:This case study focuses upon Karamoja, which has, overall, the lowest mean annual rainfall and the highest concomitant variability of precipitation in the whole of Uganda. In successive historical phases in Uganda, the problems related to drought have been perceived locally in differing terms and differing strategies have been advanced to meet these perceptions. Three broad chronological phases in the area are discussed in turn: precolonial (c. 1880-1910), colonial (1911-1962), and independence (1963 onwards). Assuming that the hub of each of the economies under discussion was livestock, the traditional supplementary and alternative responses to both chronic and spasmodic inadequacy may be assigned to five arbitrary groupings: folk migration, diversification of economy, trading, variation of stock inventories, and rustling and raiding. These varying categories of response to crisis are discussed for precolonial as well as colonial times. The period from the mid-1960s onwards contributed nothing constructive throughout Karamoja to either the configuration of 'drought' or the best response to environmental crises of any form. Bibliogr., notes, ref.