Departmental Bulletin Paper Building Resilience through Social Capital as a Counter-Measure to Natural Disasters in Africa: A Case Study from a Project in Pastoralist and Agro-Pastoralist Communities in Borena, in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia


53pp.35 - 51 , 2017-03 , The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Since the 1990s, the number of natural disasters has been rapidly increasing. So far, little quantitative analysis has been carried out on the economic impact of natural disasters in Africa. This paper finds the following: (1) the number of natural disasters in Africa has rapidly increased since the 1990s; (2) East Africa has been hit hardest by natural disasters—of these, drought is the most serious; (3) natural disasters have expanded agricultural land; (4) natural disasters have decreased forested areas; (5) natural disasters have decreased the number of cattle, buffalo, chicken, sheep, goats, and horses. These results indicate that pastoralists have been hit particularly hard by natural disasters. As natural disasters are no longer rare in Africa, it is necessary to consider their impact. This paper examines a JICA project in Borena, in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia, which set out to explore options for building resilience as a counter measure. Our findings indicate that regions at risk from natural disasters need to build resilience through social capital.

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