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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1995 → Famine, migration, resettlement, and recovery : Case studies from northwestern Nigeria

Michigan State University (1995)

Famine, migration, resettlement, and recovery : Case studies from northwestern Nigeria

Grolle, John

Titre : Famine, migration, resettlement, and recovery : Case studies from northwestern Nigeria.

Auteur : Grolle, John

Université de soutenance : Michigan State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1995

Mass migrations from agricultural villages in the West African Sahel have occurred during famines. One highly influential model of famine impacts holds that intense deprivation forces many farmers inexorably along a response continuum that culminates in the liquidation of all productive assets, including land, and permanent out-migration. This process purportedly results in the impoverishment and displacement of a large proportion of the Sahel’s farming population. The present study tests the validity of the continuum model by posing two basic questions : (1) After a famine ends, do farmers that migrated in distress return to their villages of origin ? (2) Should they not return, then what becomes of them ? The research that addresses these questions is centered upon three interrelated theoretical concerns : (1) the retreat and advance of human settlement in response to arid and wetter climatic phases ; (2) the dynamics of famine, and the potential for farming households to avoid or recover from famine impacts by migrating ; (3) the ratchet effect, allegedly the greatest obstacle to recovery from famine. This study also has major implications for famine early warning and mitigation programs, and for development policy and praxis in West Africa. Fieldwork was undertaken in villages in the semiarid Sahel of Nigeria, and in settlements in the sub-humid Sudan zone populated by famine refugees. Interviews with groups and individuals were the primary sources of data. The continuum model is deterministic and seriously flawed. Migration during famine is not the culmination of an inevitable and irreversible slide into penury. Many former famine refugees have returned to their Sahelian villages of origin and reclaimed their farms. Former refugees who have settled permanently in the Sudan zone have achieved impressive levels of prosperity without the assistance of governments or international aid organizations. Most of these households have attained self-sufficiency in staple foods while maintaining access to farmland in the Sahel. Major challenges for contemporary famine early warning systems include : (1) the "triggering" causes of famine are more complex than previously thought, and could easily

Mots clés : Geography, Social sciences, Demographics, African history

Accès au document : Proquest Dissertations & Theses

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