GEOG 210 Lecture Notes - Carrying Capacity, Rangeland, Rainfed Agriculture

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24 Jan 2013
Lecture 5:
Living in the Environment: Perception & Behaviour
Theme 2: Identity and Landscape
Reading: Know et al, Chapter 5, entire chapter
East African Livelihoods
Clash over perceptions on a landscape ! the Horn of Africa
Focus on Somalia
Nomadic Pastoralism: Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan
Cyclic behaviour of precipitation
34 ethnic groups within the horn of Africa
Diversity in perception, ethnic groups, land use etc… make the environment
Seasonal Migration of Nomadic Herds
Move away from rivers and wells and then back to rivers and wells
Importance of dry season access to river
2 important rivers in Somalia
During the dry season, nomads go to the river
Drought Year Nomadic Migrations
o Changes the migrations pattern
o Must move far distances
o Begin crossing international boundaries
o Drought resistance
o Drawing boundaries on a map can interfere with a livelihood
Social Order
Need to make alliances with who is on the land that you want to
This social order acts to allow long-term sustainable use of grazing
Helps make nomadism work
Sustainability and conservation can sometimes involve conflict
Conservation sometimes needs confrontation
How does this social order contribute (or not) to governance?
Clan Alliance
When the rain fall is normal
o Have certain set alliances that are used continuously
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Drought Year
o A lot of alliance making and breaking
o A lot of conflict
Southern Somalia and Development
Development in Somalia in the 70s and 80s focused on the two
perennial rivers in the country
o Jubba River
o Shabelle River
Perception is key ! Development perspective
Irrigation Project on the Shabelle River
o Perception of the way to use the environment
o Many irrigation canals
o Difficult to get right
o Very expensive
o Had to clear grass near the river to make this
o Production of Place
o Creates a domino effect in land degradation
o Clash of perceptions as to what this landscape is to be used
o Nomads must then go elsewhere to locate water and grazing
The nomads livelihoods all depends on their access to rivers during the dry
Uses huge areas of land
If access to the river is not possible it leads to over grazing and
land degradation.
Irrigation System
One or two really big canals
Smaller canals attached to bigger canals
Nomadic access to river blocked
Disruption of local economies
Food aid dependency
Can magnify droughts affect
International Markets
o Sell livestock overseas
o Market opportunities
o Get people to switch from camel to cattle
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