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Title:Climate-driven development policy for Sahelian pastoralists
Author:Sollod, A.E.
Book title:Pastoral economies in Africa and long-term responses to drought
Geographic term:Sahel
rural development
Abstract:M. Glantz (1987) has called the disregard of climate the single most important cause of failure for African development schemes. Without being prescriptive, he suggests that the 'quid pro quo' for further funding of development in sub-Saharan Africa is the explicit recognition of climatic variability in all projects. This paper responds to this criticism with an example of how drought preparedness can be built into development strategy for Sahelian pastoralists. The author summarizes the ecological foundation for a drought early warning system (EWS) based on rainfall monitoring. He shows how an EWS can be used in conjunction with other development activities, such as the recognition of nomadic responses to drought and the preservation of habitat, to bring an opportunistic complexion to pastoral development strategy. The research upon which this analysis is based was carried out among the Tuareg of central Niger under the auspices of the Ministry of Animal and Water Resources and the Integrated Livestock Production Project. The survey period began in August 1984 and was terminated at the beginning of 1986. The paper demonstrates that by including the short-term drought responses of pastoralists, it is possible to design a development strategy that contributes to long-term welfare in a stochastic environment. Bibliogr., sum.