Droughts: Complex Social Phenomena
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Droughts: Complex Social Phenomena book
Droughts are complex phenomena in which a multiplicity of natural, political, economic and social elements converges to produce a form of escalating socio-political turbulence, threatening the social fabric of the nomadic pastoral livelihood in south-eastern Mauritania. Extreme water scarcity, particularly when combined with political unrest and economic disturbances, produces a context of crisis, in which core aspects of society, such as social relations and alliances, notions of morality, honour, solidarity and indeed integrity, surface as sources of uncertainty. Hence, water and its absence afford a vantage point from which to ethnographically engage with the practical constituents of social life. In arid lands, water more often than not serves as a pervasive idiom for engaging with social and political issues of paramount importance to those who inhabit these hostile environments. The environment, quite literally, is becoming difficult to anticipate. Among the elderly nomadic pastoralists, genuine concerns over what they fear are irreversible ecological changes for the worse are preponderant and multiplying.