Responses to Drought and Coping Strategies in Semiarid Areas: The Case of North Darfur Rural Population in Western Sudan

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Elfaki,Izzeldien Abdelhamied
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University of Khartoum
This study examines how people in the semi arid land response to prolonged drought impacts. Mainly their ability to cope with resources shortage and food in security over time. It drowse from the experience of North Darfur rural population, living in semi-arid zone of the sahel, an area with long history of frequent food shortage and three decades ago of persistent short rainfall. The study specifically examines the potential capacity for the Sahel semi-arid zone resources to sustain livelihood under conditions of frequent and persistent traditional resources diminishes. The study looks at the historical and ecological perspective of the problem in order to explore the factors influencing the socio-economic structure and food production in the area. It specifically investigates the capacities and abilities of different production systems in the varied ecological zone to cope with the slow resources depletion. The study also investigates the role of cultural social set-up and indigenous knowledge as a factor for adapting to resources diminishes by exploiting local diversity or conflicting over the meager resources. A detailed assessment is made of the coping strategies among the main three communities in the area. The people in this varied ecological zone differ in how they deal with the situation of short rainfall and mobilization of the local resources in various seasons. Household’s peasant’s cultivators in south part of the area have great ability in mobilizing local resources. Mainly introduction of new methods and techniques of production as well as accumulating and managing resources in away to maintain sustainable food security. The semi pastoralist households in the north part of the area are flexible in utilizing their own labour by migration and performing various farm and non-farm activities. The Arab pastoralist of the far north adapted by strengthening their competitive power over the meager resources regardless of the customary laws which govern and regulate land use in the area. It is clear from the study that the different communities of the semi arid zone differ in their ability to develop the traditional coping strategies into more sustainable live hood strategies or develop new ones. The study concluded by assessing the potential of the prominent land resources utilization strategies in term of economic social, and environmental and political as well
284 Pages
North Darfur;Population;Western Sudan;seasons;farm;power;economic;food