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Introduction

  • Boris A. Portnov

Abstract

People have lived in arid lands since pre-historic times. There have always been deserts, and there have always been droughts. Only in comparatively recent years, as Cloudsley-Thompson (1986) justly notes, has the man-desert interaction led to such dramatic social and environmental consequences as those that were witnessed during the Sahel droughts of 1968-73 and 1982-85. These droughts caused the collapse of the entire agricultural base of five countries (Mauritania, Upper Volta, Mal~ Niger and Chad), already among the poorest nations in the world, and severe damage to the agricultural base of two others: Senegal and Gambia (UNCOD 1977). By some estimations, between 100,000 and 250,000 died as a result of the drought. In addition, some refugees never returned to their homelands (Kates et al. 1977)

Keywords

Street Canyon Arid Zone Arid Land Desert Region Urban Settlement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boris A. Portnov
    • 1
  1. 1.J. Blaustein Institute for Desert ResearchBen-Gurion University of the NegevSede-Boker CampusIsrael

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