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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Community's survival mechanisms in times of extreme deprivation
Author:Chilimampunga, Charles D.ISNI
Periodical:The Community Development Journal: An International Journal for Community Workers
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:rural economy
External link:http://cdj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/32/4/312
Abstract:This study examines community survival mechanisms during periods of extreme deprivation. The study focuses on Tengani, a village of nearly 800 people, in Nsanje District, southern Malawi. The study is based on 118 interviews held with heads of households in November 1992. The main survival strategies they adopted during the 1990-1992 period, when a severe drought and nearly 60,000 Mozambican refugees caused an acute shortage of basic resources, were sharing of food and money, modification of consumption patterns, temporary outmigration, income generation and competition for grazing pastures. The study shows that, with meagre resources, the community at Tengani managed to eke out a living in the worst of unfavourable environments. The villagers were able to achieve a meaningful existence mostly through their own initiative. The paper suggests that some of the villagers, particularly the women, were more disadvantaged by the drought than others. In conclusion, policy action is suggested to strengthen community strategies as a means of enhancing poor communities' chances of survival in times of scarcity and of reducing both budgets for relief programmes and their wastage. Bibliogr., sum.