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Title: Reverse Thinking and "African Potentials" to Combat Desertification in the West African Sahel: Applying Local Greening Techniques Born from Drought and Famine in the 1970s
Authors: OYAMA, Shuichi
Keywords: African potential
Environmental restoration
Indigenous knowledge
Land degradation
Land restoration technique
Republic of Niger
Issue Date: Jun-2018
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 57
Start page: 95
End page: 120
Abstract: As their farmland deteriorates, the Hausa people improve its fertility by mixing household waste and urban waste into the soil. These wastes include excreta of cattle, leftover fodder, pruned branches, crop residues, worn-out cloths, plastic bag and metal pans. This local greening technique was developed by villagers in 1973 and 1974, during a time of drought and famine. Since 2003, the author has conducted repeated field experiments on the effectiveness and safety of the use of organic waste from urban and homestead environments. Shrubs grow from waste input after grassland is created, and herders foster forest growth in fenced experimental plots, using their livestock. The author has performed local techniques using external equipment. Although the lifestyle and production patterns of the residents in the Sahel exacerbate the desertification process, urban waste and livestock can restore the degraded land. This path of greening is considered reverse thinking and "African Potentials" based on the indigenous knowledge and day-to-day practice, which combats the desertification of the West African Sahel.
Rights: Copyright by The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, June 1, 2018.
DOI: 10.14989/233010
Appears in Collections:57(Land, Agriculture and Unfinished Decolonization in Africa: Essays in Honour of Sam Moyo)

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