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2 Pages

Course Code
GEOG 1000
Ulrich Best

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Famine:  Not Natural, But Political  Africa is not a landscape of famine  Causes of Famine  Popular explanations  drought  over-population? (Malthusian argument)  Lack of access to food  conflict & misrule  land distribution  poverty / lack of economic safety net  The West Sahelian Famine (1968–1974):  Fluctuations in rainfall  Long history of human habitation  High human death toll; ½ livestock herd gone; crops devastated  Causes? Debate  What made the Sahel vulnerable to drought?  Vulnerability = exposure to risk & ability to respond to risk  Promotion of peanut cultivation  Drought is climatic; roots of famine are social, economic, & political  Other famines: Irish Potato Famine (1845-1852)  20-25% loss of population  “Natural” cause  Political causes  Lesson?  Other famines: Irish Potato Famine (1845-1852)  Genocide?
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