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Disaster in the Sahel- Could it Have Been Avoided?

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Title: Disaster in the Sahel- Could it Have Been Avoided?
Authors: White, Cheryl
Issue Date: 26 Sep 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Who is responsible for the Sahel disaster? How could such a severe famine occur in the Twentieth Century during this age of modern medicine, the Green Revolution and space technology? The answer, I believe, lies in unchanging human nature. Procrastination, failure to take responsibility, lack of a holistic point of view, greed and indecisiveness are just a few of the human failings that caused a drought to somersault into a famine. While only 'a few people or organizations actually possess the power to aid countries in trouble, must the rest of us be forced to idly stand by while thousands starve? Is there not a way to make those in power see the need for swift action, or are human failings never to be overcome? Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary describes drought as a prolonged period of dryness or a chronic shortage or lack of something. In the case of the Sahel drought from approximately 1967 to 1976 in sub-Saharan Africa, not only was there a lack of rain, but also a chronic shortage of relief planning and aid. There are a myriad of reasons for this oversight many of which will be looked at shortly. First, however, it is important to know exactly what drought is and to realize that there is more than one cause of decreased precipitation. Only by attempting to understand how man's actions have affected weather and how his actions may cause future disturbances such as drought can people make a concerted effort to avoid actions that may cause disasters. It may be too late to avert some phenomenae, in which case, some sort of realistic plan should be implemented to deal with them. In coping with any disaster, it is important to know if it is just a freak occurrence or if it is cyclic in nature. In any planning, the future must be taken into account and planning for drought-stricken areas is no exception.
Pages/Duration: 38 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for Geography

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