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King’s College London (2014)

The making of hazard : a social-environmental explanation of vulnerability to drought in Djibouti

Ayanleh Daher Aden

Titre : The making of hazard : a social-environmental explanation of vulnerability to drought in Djibouti

Auteur : Ayanleh Daher Aden

Université de soutenance : King’s College London

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2014

Présentation
This research addresses the aetiology of current chronic socio-environmental vulnerability of rural households to the hazard known as ‘drought’ in the country of Djibouti. Tracing the main forces of change affecting the sustainable practice of pastoralism is akin to studying the social production of vulnerability. The exercise forms an integral part of Wisner et al’s Disaster Pressure and Release (PAR) model which is used here to shed light on the mechanisms and the path of change from root causes of vulnerability up to the appearance of unsafe conditions. Based on information from primary research conducted with pastoral communities, relevant secondary sources and raw historical rainfall data, the study generates novel data on communities’ exposure to risk, vulnerability and coping capacities associated with food insecurity in the face of drought. The first part of the thesis explores the ‘root causes’ of vulnerability to drought in Djibouti, i.e. the process of border-making, the imposition of geographical boundaries to pastoral life, division and power disequilibrium between the Afars and the Somali-Ise and the gradual weakening of traditional organizational systems’ legitimacy. The second link in the chain of explanation corresponds to dynamic processes which are by-products of root causes. They include regional and internal influences on rurality and the effects of Djibouti’s progressive entry into the world economy on rural livelihoods. Finally, the third part of the thesis investigates the nature and creation of ‘unsafe conditions’ of the Afar and Somali-Ise pastoral communities under study. These conditions correspond to hazardous locations of living, the fragility of pastoral livelihoods and the reinforcing impacts from non-drought hazards on their vulnerability to drought. The thesis demonstrates that rather than the hazard itself, it is the historical accumulation of factors of vulnerability and eventually the nature of current rural households’ unsafe conditions that are responsible for their present chronic vulnerability to drought in the study areas.

Présentation

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Page publiée le 19 décembre 2016, mise à jour le 15 octobre 2018