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close this bookProceedings of the Khartoum Workshop on Arid Lands Management (UNU, 1979, 96 pages)
Open this folder and view contentsThe university of Khartoum and the United Nations University
Open this folder and view contentsProgrammes for improved arid lands management
Open this folder and view contentsCase studies from the Sudan
Open this folder and view contentsSummary report
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

The Khartoum workshop in relation to the programmes of the United Nations University

Walther Manshard
Vice-Rector, Programme on the Use and Management of Natural Resources
J.A. Mabbutt
Co-ordinator, Sub-programme on the Assessment of the Application of Knowledge to Arid Lands Problems

The United Nations University was established in response to growing international recognition that the major problems confronting humanity are not the responsibility of single nations but of the whole interdependent world. In the words of its Charter, approved by the UN General Assembly in 1973, the prime concerns of the University will be "the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare." The essence of the University is global networks of scholars working on related problems, and these scholars are linked to the University individually through research and training units, and formally through associated institutions. Through these networks the UN University is pursuing its aim of advanced research and training and the dissemination of knowledge, with particular emphasis on the needs of the developing countries. Thus it is acting to strengthen the resources of associated institutions where necessary, sponsoring research projects within the objectives of its programmes, providing post-graduate training to UNU Fellows, and facilitating the interchange of ideas by means of workshops, seminars, and a variety of publications.

In 1975 the UN University Council set three priority areas for immediate attention, namely, world hunger, human and social development, and the use and management of natural resources.

The aim of the Programme on the Use and Management of Natural Resources is to identify the most critical problems that can be alleviated through research, advanced training, and the dissemination of knowledge, and particularly those which are presently relatively unrecognized or inadequately dealt with by existing institutions. In early 1977 the Council approved the Programme's taking the following critical problems as a basis for its work: increasing environmental deterioration and mismanagement of natural resources in the humid tropics; limited energy supplies, particularly for rural communities; and the ineffective application of knowledge in the management and development of arid lands.

The general objective of the Arid Lands Sub-programme is to bridge the gaps between scientists, land-users, and administrators in order to develop and provide information for more effective management of arid lands. Specifically, the Sub-programme will identify factors obstructing the application of scientific or traditional knowledge that could be used to improve the environment and raise living stand. arcs in the dry lands, and then develop and implement means to overcome these obstacles.

Following a favourable report by a UNU evaluation mission in October 1977, the University of Khartoum was chosen as the initial base for this Sub-programme. The workshop recorded in this publication marks the initiation of joint activities. It was also the occasion for the formal designation of the University of Khartoum as an Associated Institution of the United Nations University. An agreement to this effect was signed by Professor Ali Fadl, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Khartoum, and Dr. Walther Manshard, Vice-Rector for the Natural Resources Programme, on 22 October 1978, the opening day of the workshop.

The co-operation between the UN University and the University of Khartoum will primarily be conducted through the Institute of Environmental Studies, recently established at the University of Khartoum with the support of the Ford Foundation. The University of Khartoum, being the major centre of advanced studies in the Sudan, is well placed to investigate environmental changes linked with development of the arid and semi-arid parts of the country, with which the aims of the Arid Lands Sub-programme of the UN University are closely linked. Post-graduate courses given by the Institute will provide training to UNU Fellows under the Subprogramme, particularly from those parts of Africa with comparable environmental and social problems.

A large number of departments from various faculties of the University of Khartoum will be associated in the work of the Institute, and it is intended that co-operation be" tween the UN University and the University of Khartoum for the furtherance of the Arid Lands Sub-programme will be on the widest possible basis. The Institutional Co-ordinator responsible in Khartoum for such co-operation will be Dr. Mustafa M. Khogali of the Department of Geography

The specific objectives of the Khartoum workshop were:
(a) to identify problem areas related to the utilization of existing knowledge in the development of the Sudan;
(b) to evaluate existing development projects; and
(c) to discuss the content of training programmes, and appropriate network relationships to support such programmes.

A summary of the proceedings, discussions, and recommendations is given in the report by Dr. Douglas L. Johnson.

The facilities provided by the University of Khartoum for the meetings and field excursions to the Gezira and Rahaad Development Schemes, as well as the hospitality of the university, are gratefully acknowledged, as is the co-operation of all participants, both Sudanese and overseas. There was unanimous agreement that the workshop had fulfilled its primary function of initiating effective co-operation between the University of Khartoum and the United Nations University in its Arid Lands Sub-programme, and of indicating the immediate lines for research and training.

United Nations University evaluation mission to the Sudan, 1-9 october 1977

Anders Rapp
University of Lund, Sweden

Horst Mensching University of Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany

The United Nations University's Sub-programme on the Assessment of the Application of Knowledge to Arid Lands Problems was discussed and recommended by an expert panel in Tokyo in May 1977. The panel also recommended that a mission should visit the Sudan and evaluate the possibilities of establishing links between the UN University, the University of Khartoum, and other institutions in the Sudan, such as the planned College for Arid Zone Studies at el-Fasher.

The UNU evaluation team visited Khartoum on 2-4 and 8-9 October 1977 and had discussions and field studies in elFasher on 5-7 October. The team members were Dr. H. Mensching, University of Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany; Mr. Lee MacDonald, United Nations University, Tokyo; Dr. Anders Rapp, University of Lund, Sweden; and Dr. R. Herzog, University of Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany.

Dr. F. Ibrahim, University of Hamburg, took part in the meetings in el-Fasher and in Khartoum on 8 October. The hosts in the Sudan were the Higher Education Grants Committee and its director, Dr. Ali Taha.

The team members wish to express their gratitude to the Sudanese authorities and representatives for their kind help in facilitating the work of the mission and for their hospitality.

The UNU team spent five days of meetings and discussions in Khartoum and three days of meetings and field studies in elFasher. In Khartoum the team had discussions with representatives from the University of Khartoum, the National Council for Research, and the Khartoum Polytechnics and with officials from several Government agencies, including the departments of Soil Conservation, Range and Pasture, and Forestry. In el-Fasher the team had discussions with the Commissioner of Northern Darfur Province and the provincial Agricultural Council. The mission had the advantage of being able to utilize the experiences and materials from the UN Conference on Desertification, held in Nairobi in September 1977 (UNCOD, 1977) and the Desert Encroachment Control and Rehabilitation Programme (DECARP) of the Government of the Republic of the Sudan (Sudan, Ministry of Agriculture, etc., 1976).

Recommendations by the Mission

Based on the discussions with Sudanese authorities and experts, the UNU evaluation mission made a number of recommendations, including:
(a) that the University of Khartoum be made an Associated Institution for the UNU Subprogramme on Assessment of the Application of Knowledge to Arid Lands Problems;
(b) that the planned Institute of Environmental Studies (IES), proposed by the Faculty of Science, and the existing Development Studies and Research Centre (SRC) in the Faculty of Economic and Social Studies be considered the bases for UNU activities within the University of Khartoum; (c) that research and other activities sponsored by the UN University be located mainly in the field under an arid lands research unit based in el-Fasher, Northern Darfur Province, Sudan. This unit should be created as an intermediate step towards the establishment of a research unit attached to the Darfur College for Arid Zone Studies as proposed by the Government of the Republic of Sudan.

The mission also made recommendations for the workshop as reported in this volume.

Some additional comments are called for concerning the recommendation to locate the UNU-sponsored research and other activities as much as possible in the field under the proposed arid lands research unit in el-Fasher. The recommendation is based on the mission's view that actions to counter desertification and the improved management of arid lands have to be studied and applied in close contact with the areas and peoples affected by these problems. Public participation was a central topic in the recommendations discussed at the Conference on Desertification.

At our meetings in el-Fasher the representatives of Northern Darfur showed a deep understanding of, and expressed much concern about, the problems of desertification in their province. We were impressed by their strong will and determination to make long term improvement to help the people, who have been seriously hit by years of drought and declining yields. It is also mainly these areas which are feeling the direct impact of immigrants from the Sahelian countries of West Africa escaping starvation at times of desertification. So there seems to be a particularly strong need in Darfur for the application of knowledge to help combat desertification (Mensching and Ibrahim, 1977).

Further Comments

I would like to add some personal views on the UNU Subprogramme concerning arid lands management. I agree with the opinion of Drs. Manshard and Mabbutt expressed at the Tokyo meeting in 1977 and later, that a survey of drylands to establish physical and human environmental regions would be a valuable first step. The record of that meeting states: "Such a survey of environments and the establishment of regional divisions and types should aim to define the spheres of applicability of particular problems of landuse and development as determined by the physical and human environment, and to identify areas of future threat

The first objective of such a survey would be the mapping of physical and human dryland environmental types, to be followed by an evaluation of methods for surveying and monitoring the processes and recovery in selected areas. Among important questions which arise are: How is desertification or ecological degradation actually occurring in a given area, how can it be mapped and monitored, and what can be done to counteract it? Are over-grazing, overcultivation, and excessive cutting of firewood all contributing to desertification? Which is the most important agent of desertification, and how can it be countered? How do local people perceive the problems of desertification?

Several studies prepared for the UNU Arid Lands Subprogramme deal with the topic of perception of desertification, and these reports, written by consultants, will be important in highlighting the particular approach of perception studies, even if they deal with arid lands outside Africa.

Research Approaches through Particular Topics

In discussing the role of science in integrated research and surveys of dryland environmental degradation and recovery, we realize the need for truly integrated action through approaches from many sides. The problems of arid land management are affecting the whole eco-systems, including man and society as well as the environment. However, even if one aims at an understanding of the whole manenvironment system under different types of land-use, it is often necessary and helpful to make a research approach from a particular angle or topic. Such topics might include: Appropriate technology in dryland agriculture. According to many authors and reports, e.g. the DECARP plan, the major land-use problem causing desertification in northern Darfur is considered to be the dryland cultivation of millet. This ought to be an area of high priority for research in western Sudan, and it should preferably be widened to include a wide spectrum of cultivation practices, from traditional small-scale cultivation to mechanized farming schemes, and their respective environmental impact. Wood supply and desertification. Water management and desertification.

The reason for making the use of wood or water resources in the drylands research topics is to make an approach from a particular angle and from there proceed to an integrated view of the dryland eco-system.

The Role of Remote Sensing in Dryland Environmental Monitoring

Every research project on arid land management in the future has to be combined with preparations for environmental monitoring. We are dealing with a dynamic and changing system of man and environment and we must prepare for continued observations on changes in social and environmental conditions (cf. Heliden, 1978). One particularly important avenue for environmental monitoring in drylands is the use of remote sensing techniques, including both photographs and satellite imagery. As an example I will refer to the fact that the satellite Landsat 3, which is now in operation, has a resolution of 40 m, which is a considerable improvement over Landsat 1 and 2. Every research project on dryland management, regardless of its emphasis on social or environmental conditions, should consider the need to find and evaluate the most reliable indicators for combined monitoring at three levels: ground checks, air photos, and satellite imagery.


Heliden, U. 1978. Evaluation of Landsat-2 Imagery for Desertification Studios in Northern Kordahn, Sudan. Rapporter & Notiser No. 38. Geography Dept., University of Lund, Sweden.

Ibrahim, F. 1978. "Anthropogenic Causes of Desertification in Western Sudan." Geo Journal, 2-3, pp. 243-54.

Mensching, H., and F. Ibrahim, 1977. "The Problem of Desertification in and around Arid Lands." Applied Sciences and Development, 10, pp. 743. Sudan, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and Agricultural Research Council, 1976. Sudan's Desert Encroachment Control and Rehabilitation Programme.

United Nations Conference on Desertification (UNCOD). 1977. "Desertification: An Overview." In Desertification: Its Causes and Consequences, pp. 1-61. Oxford: Pergamon.

POST-graduate studies in the university of Khartoum

Mohamed Omer Beshir Dean, Graduate College, University of Khartoum

Education is probably the most important activity and concern in Africa, and university and higher education is central to this activity and concern. This is true in the Sudan as in other countries. Of the £S 110 million budgeted for Sudan's Six Year Development Plan, £S 35 million have been allocated to universities and higher education. If agriculture is the central activity of the economy in terms of the number of people involved directly or indirectly, education is the second most important activity. It is recognized today that the Sudan has the potential of being not only a grain basket but also a brain basket. In fact, its potential to provide highly educated manpower for the rich oil-producing countries has been recognized. Hence, higher education and its development to satisfy not only immediate and national needs but also future regional needs is a matter of great importance. Emphasis on the development of post-graduate studies in the University of Khartoum is part of this concern.

The late Frank Bowels, author of Access to Higher Education, said that educational systems must go through certain stages of development before new ideas and methods can be introduced. He recognized five stages:

Stage one. The formation of a basic national educational system, with primary schools, vocational schools, teacher training schools, secondary schools, and non-degree postsecondary programmes. The Sudan achieved this in 1948.

Stage two. The establishment of a university offering undergraduate studies leading to first degrees, but without post-graduate programmes or degrees at this stage. The Sudan accomplished this in 1956.

Stage three. Political measures to generalize the basic national educational systems. This has been done from 1956 until today in the Sudan.

Stage four. This is the stage when the maturation of a university takes place. Post-graduate studies emerge, and research programmes which relate the university to national problems are developed. This is the stage which the University of Khartoum has been going through since the early 1970s.

Stage five. This is the stage when the role of the university is extended to reach out to the community, develop new methods of education, and adjust itself to the political necessities of national development and its programmes.

These stages are not necessarily watertight compartments nor mutually exclusive; for example, l think university and higher education in the Sudan is at present undergoing both stages four and five. The university system in the Sudan, especially the University of Khartoum, has reached the stage of maturity and is also undertaking activities belonging to stage five.

Post-graduate studies in the University of Khartoum aim at doing research relevant to national issues and promoting staff development. Post-graduate studies, together with undergraduate studies (which are still the main occupation of the university in terms of numbers of students and funds allocated) have the purpose of making the university reach out to society through new methods, structures, and institutions. The University of Khartoum is not alone in this task; the University of Juba (1977) and the University of Gezira (1978) are also contributing and share the same orientation from the start.

But this is not the only major development in higher education in the Sudan in recent years:

First, there has been an unprecedented increase in enrolments in higher education, both within the Sudan and outside it. The number of Sudanese students enrolled in local institutes of higher education has risen from 11,000 in 1969/70, to about 20,000 in 1973/74, and to about 25,000 in 1978/79. The number of Sudanese students enrolled in higher education outside the Sudan has also grown from 4,000 in 1973/74 to 15,000 in 1978/79. About 10,000 of these are in Egyptian universities.

Second, the number of students eligible for higher education, that is, those completing courses in higher secondary schools, has grown at an even faster rate. The number sitting for the Sudan School Certificate was 20,000 in 1977, and 45,000 in 1978, and expected to increase to 75,000 in 1979, and to 100,000 in 1980.

These figures should not be seen as alarming, but should be welcomed and applauded, provided that appropriate employment opportunities are created. Studies made for the Six Year Development Plan have shown that the demand for mid-level technicians and professionals will exceed the supply. Our main concern is, therefore, the content and type of education provided. The studies have also shown that the bottleneck will be in the area of non-degree education, for the development of this type of education and training has lagged behind for a number of reasons. As a result, the gap between academic and technical education has widened.

What the Sudan needs is to develop mid-level institutes, technical and professional colleges, and universities, as well as post-graduate courses to provide highly qualified manpower.

In this area of post-graduate studies some positive steps have already been taken, and 1972 was a landmark in this respect. In that year, realizing the need and urgency to effectively develop post-graduate studies, the University of Khartoum established a Graduate College with the specific purpose of promoting this important aspect of higher education. It is important, however, to point out that postgraduate studies have existed in the university since 1958, and that some 500 Ph.D. and masters' degrees have been awarded over the past 20 years.

The idea of a post-graduate college was put forward as far back as 1967, but what is significant is that in 1972 action was taken and a college created to promote post-graduate studies related to national development and to train highlevel manpower. Before that date, this function had been diffused in a number of committees, and there was a lack of coherence and integrated planning.

Today post-graduate studies are the responsibility of the University of Khartoum, with its Graduate College acting as the central point for this activity. About 800 post-graduate students are today registered for Ph.D. and masters' degrees, representing 10 per cent of the total university population. This number is expected to grow to 2,000 by 1985.

Several other autonomous institutes within the university which have specific responsibility in this respect are:
-the Institute of Africa and Asian Studies (created in 1972);
-the Centre for Economic and Development Studies (1975);
- the Council for Medical Postgraduate Studies (1976);
-the Institute for Building and Road Research (1977);
-the Institute of Environmental Studies (1978); and
-the proposed Institute of Animal Production (approved by the Senate in 1976, but not yet by the Council).

Although these institutes are autonomous they are not independent of each other, and function in a close relationship with the mother faculties. The Graduate College is closely related to them, but acts rather as a catalyst than in any other way.

The patterns and structures for the development of postgraduate studies in the University of Khartoum are unique and most appropriate for the present stage of development and for what we are hoping to achieve. A graduate college would also be the most appropriate structure for performing the university's role at stage four, in addition to enabling it to develop into stage five in the scheme outlined above.

These single-purpose institutes and centres have proved to be effective and dynamic. Their academic programmes and their administrative structures are free from the traditional approaches and the bureaucracy often found in university faculties. All of them, however, have a common purpose: research, training, and solving developmental and environmental problems. This is also the task of the Graduate College, and all work together to achieve this end.

It is realized that, for the successful fulfillment of this objective, teamwork is most necessary. We have found that departmental divisions, as found in traditional faculties, are harmful in this respect. The institutes have to work as single units. We have also found that the provision of professional non-academic staff, for example, librarians, filing clerks, technicians and typists, is indispensable for the smooth functioning of such institutes.

There are four ways in which the Graduate College and these institutes can contribute to the role of integrating teaching and service to the society:

(a) by undertaking research to define the needs and problems of society;
(b) by training effective contributors for developmental and environmental projects;
(c) by applying existing knowledge to the solution of problems; and
(d) by seeking the co-operation of the university community, the government, other agencies, and the students in carrying out such work.

The Institute of Environmental Studies, which is the subject of this seminar, is rooted in the tradition we have developed in the University of Khartoum. It is not alien to our concepts nor to our experience. In this, it has fulfilled the first prerequisite for a positive role in the unique network we have developed to promote concern and awareness and to help solve developmental and environmental problems in the Sudan.

Establishment of an institute of environmental studies at the university of Khartoum

M.D. el-Khalifa
Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Khartoum

The Sudan is now developing its natural resources at a rapid rate in order to raise the standard of living for its growing population. A number of major development schemes have been undertaken. Agriculture is becoming intensified and extended, in particular through mechanization of new areas of land, both rain-fed and irrigated. Mineral resources are being exploited as a basis for industrialization. Livestock is increasing and new pastures are being opened.

However, there is a danger that in the rush towards the creation of a modern agricultural economy many unanticipated and unintended environmental side effects will detract from the level of development. In other words, the Sudan may be moving along a path which involves a deterioration of past development achievements and an attempt to compensate for this by hasty expansion of production elsewhere.

It is evident from certain statistics that the yield per feddan of certain important crops has dramatically declined. Sorghum and maize yields, for example, have decreased by half, and millet and groundnuts by four-fifths. The decline in sesame production is such that sesame growers have effectively lost 19 out of every 20 feddan. Undoubtedly this overall decline in productivity is in part due to the opening of marginal land, but there is also evidence of falling yields on existing cultivated land. This decline in crop production has also been accompanied by a drop in productivity of forest lands. Acacia woodlands, hitherto used on a renewable basis for fuel and charcoal production, have disappeared over large areas. Most dramatic has been the death and destruction of Acacia Senegal, from which gum Arabic is harvested, resulting in a lowering of the level of production, which had been stable for many years.

The visual evidence of decline is in the disappearance of formerly productive land; where there were once crops or livestock or useful woodlands, there is now arid barren land, man-created desert in the broad sense of the word. Moreover, there is evidence of changes in the composition of natural vegetation and shifting of belts southwards. Accompanying the changes in vegetation there has also been a loss of wildlife in the north; many species have become rare or extinct in many areas.

On a larger scale, the decline in yields and the general process of desert encroachment in the Sudan are the result of a complex pattern of interacting factors. Years with low rainfall have combined with lower water tables to produce crop failure in marginal lands. Increased livestock densities and overgrazing coupled with excess burning are destroying range and pasture. Acacia woodlands are being destroyed for fuel and charcoal and removed over large areas to make way for mechanized farming. In rain-fed areas tillage operations are resulting in wind erosion of the topsoil, aided by the lack of woodland remnants or shelter belts. On irrigated clays the use of heavy machinery is resulting in compaction of soil. In general, new and more intensive agricultural techniques are putting a heavy pressure on established irrigation schemes. Fallow periods are shorter, water management is becoming more critical, and a new pest problem is being created by heavy reliance on pesticides.

On the other hand, expansion of irrigated agriculture has already consumed the country's share of the Nile water 120.35 x 109 m³ ). Therefore future requirements must be met from more expensive sources such as conservation of the swampy regions, ground-water resources, non-nilotic streams, the improvement of poor utilization efficiencies, and recycling and desalination processes. The country has reached a state where optimization between these sources and the corresponding use is a vital need. Such optimization would consider in a rational manner the different economic, hydrological, ecological, sociological, political, and environmental factors.

Finally, the capacity of the rural population to cope with problems of everyday life is being hampered by increases in the incidence of bilharzia (schistosomiasis), malaria, and other diseases.

What has been said is a brief essay on the state of the environment in the Sudan. However, the present level of environmental changes is such that their detrimental effect can no longer be safely ignored. Therefore, new capacitities have to be created to deal with the environmental problem in more comprehensive and integrated fashions. Many universities are becoming more and more aware of such major responsibilities.

In the Sudan, the University of Khartoum is in a favourable position to respond to these circumstances As the country's major centre of advanced studies, it has an opportunity and responsibility to integrate what is now known and to help bring this knowledge to bear on the environmental problems described. It also has a responsibility to seek to create new knowledge where this is needed and to educate decision-makers, resource managers, and the general public about the state of the environment and the dangers that exist.

The nature of the problems, however, together with their urgency, suggests that the traditional approaches by themselves are not enough. A broad integrative approach to environmental problems is needed in which the knowledge and skills of a wide variety of specialists can be brought together and applied towards effective solutions. Limited success has been achieved within the university in the study of arid zone problems and of the hydrology of the Nile as evidenced by the output of the Arid Zone Research Unit and Hydrobiological Research Unit within the Faculty of Science. The efforts of the Geography Department in tackling problems of urbanization and those of the Department of Community Medicine bear witness to the relevance of such studies. Other faculties, such as Engineering and Agriculture, have introduced post-graduate studies directed towards a better understanding of the environment. However, all these are isolated disciplinary efforts run according to old university traditions.

To meet the challenge of creating a broad integrative approach to environmental problems, the University of Khartoum, after a series of prolonged discussions involving highly qualified persons from within and outside the school, is now actively embarking on the establishment of a research and training Institute of Environmental Studies, which is temporarily affiliated with the Faculty of Science during its formative period but is expected to be quite independent within the next two to five years.

The question may arise as to why priority should be given to the creation of an institute for research and post-graduate training. On assessment of the situation, however, it becomes clear that the immediate introduction of an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences, though highly needed, is not feasible at present. The nature of such an interdisciplinary degree requires the implementation of the course-unit system within the university, because, although the components of a coherent course of study leading to such a degree are already in existence, they are scattered through departments and faculties. Moreover, the value of such a degree would have to be sold effectively to many prospective employers.

FIG. 1. Organizational Structure of the Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Khartoum

The arguments for establishing a research and training institute are strong. The creation of an institute represents an effective way in which the university can deploy and strengthen its capabilities. If the institute is broadly interdisciplinary, it can provide a convenient and suitable basis for collaboration among specialists from a wide range of disciplines. Such an institute could project the work which the university is doing and enhance its reputation and value to the community. It could also strengthen research and teaching within established disciplinary and departmental programmes. It could serve as a focus for attracting wellqualified scholars and scientists and for carrying out externally supported research. Indeed, it seems likely that a high quality research institute would quickly attract contract research from within the Sudan.

Among the objectives of the institute will be:
(a) to promote, co-ordinate, and disseminate information about research, teaching, and training in environmental studies concerning the conservation, use, and management of natural resources, especially at the national and regional level;
(b) to encourage and promote interdisciplinary research projects based on teamwork, independently or with other university departments and units, and to constitute the initial platform for multi-disciplinary research;
(c) to offer postgraduate studies leading to higher degrees and to offer a programme of training to develop the skills and capabilities necessary for practical studies of environmental problems, and to give diplomas and certificates; and
(d) to promote further understanding of the environment through conferences, workshops, and public lectures.

The newly created Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) has a governing board, the composition of which reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the institute as well as the importance of bringing in the participation of many interested bodies outside the university. This board is expected to draw up the general policies and approve plans laid down by the Academic Committee, which is responsible with the Director for the daily running of the institute.

One of the most interesting features of the organization of the institute is the non-permanency of its academic staff.

FIG. 2. Relationships between the Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) and Other Institutions Inside and Outside the University of Khartoum. Service units of the Institute are also shown.

The Director is appointed for a limited period, which is renewable. Project co-ordinators are appointed on the basis of joint appointment with their respective departments for a period anticipated to be necessary for the completion of a certain project.

These project co-ordinators are expected to form investigation teams drawn from inside and outside the university. Attached to such teams will be students who are being trained for higher degrees. The appointment of a training co-ordinator will reflect efforts to integrate teaching in the institute with research carried out there.

In our opinion the first task of the institute is to identify clearly areas of priority and to select relevant problems to which the whole range of activities of the institute will be directed. In doing so the institute has directed its focus on three problem areas:
(a) the impact on the environment of the canal which is being dug in the Jonglei area in southern Sudan;
(b) a range of present and potential environmental problems in the Red Sea coastal area, associated with industrialization around Port Sudan, the developing fisheries and oyster farming, the planned extracting of minerals from the Red Sea brines, and also the problem of water supply to the port and the growing industry; and
(c) the very complex problem of desert encroachment in the west; since a wide variety of research directions tend to present themselves, definition of the problem must be the first task, and we hope that this workshop will lay down the guidelines.

The scope for post-graduate training can be very wide, depending on students' qualifications, experience, and interest, employers' requirements, and the availability of financial and other necessary facilities. At present a two-year M.Sc. programme is intended to start by July 1979. The first year will be devoted to an intensive course of study and the second year to individual or teamwork research projects. These research projects will be derived from the three selected areas. One of the most interesting features of this programme is that the syllabus is intended to correspond with the needs of the main environmental problem areas. In this way we can ensure full integration between teaching and research.

FIG. 3. Functioning of the Institute of Environmental Studies for Research and Training

Proposed M.Sc. programmes in environmental studies at the university of Khartoum

M.A. el-Rasheed
University of Khartoum

Preliminary proposals for post-graduate courses in environmental studies were prepared by the writer in March 1978 and discussed in April by members of the committee entrusted with establishment of the Institute of Environmental Studies and consultants invited by the Ford Foundation. However, it was felt that further discussions on curriculum development and observation of operating environmental programmes in established institutions overseas would be beneficial. For these purposes, and in response to a request by the Chairman of the Institute of Environmental Studies (IES), the Ford Foundation agreed to finance a two-week visit to the United Kingdom by the writer.

Consequently, in June 1978 I was able to visit the Centre for Environmental Technology at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, the Department of Forestry and Wood Science in the University College of North Wales at Bangor, and the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources in the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Discussions with specialists in different environmental fields at these institutions led to some changes in the proposed M.Sc. programmes of the IES at Khartoum. The suggested changes, incorporated in the appropriate sections below, concern the number, sequence, and details of core subjects of study as well as options and relevant subjects within each option. In addition, I acquainted myself with the subject matter, methods, and co-ordination of teaching and interdisciplinary work in environmental studies at the centres visited.

The proposals made after the United Kingdom visit were further discussed in Khartoum on 21 September 1978. Professor Whitney and Dr. G. Conway, overseas consultants invited by the Ford Foundation, and Sudanese members of the committee in charge of establishing the IES took part in these discussions. Some amendments to the M.Sc. programmes were suggested, which have also been incorporated.

Course Prescriptions

Objectives of the programmes

The programme is intended for specialists from different disciplines and in different activities, and aims at
(a) introducing candidates to various environmental issues and making them appreciate the necessity of interdisciplinary treatment of the problems involved; and
(b) acquiring new capabilities and competence necessary for analysis, assessment, and resolution of environmental conflicts in a more comprehensive and integrated fashion.

Conditions for admission

For admission, a candidate must have la) an honours degree from the University of Khartoum or any other recognized university; or (b) a general degree from the University of Khartoum or any other recognized university, provided that the candidate has a minimum of three years of experience in an activity with some environmental implications.

Course format

The course lasts for two years. The first year involves an intensive course of study covering 12 compulsory core subjects and two optional subjects. The year is divided into two semesters, and the subjects are divided equally between the semesters. Teaching covers about 15 weeks per semester.

The second year involves individual or team research projects. Preparation for research projects should start during the summer vacation of the first year. The problems chosen for investigation by candidates must be part of, or related to, one of the following main research areas: (a) fresh water ecosystems management; (b) arid lands management; (c) coastal zone management; or (d) urban and regional management. A thesis embodying the methods and results of the candidate's research must be submitted by the end of the second year.

The programme also involves study tours, to take place between the first and the second semester of the first year and cover a period of about 15 days. Syllabus details are set out in Appendix D.

Instructional procedures and staff

Teaching and training will consist of lectures, workshops, tutorials, essays, case studies, laboratory and field work, and study tours.

It is expected that instructors in the prescribed programme of study will be full-time teaching staff in the different faculties and departments of the University of Khartoum. Part-time staff from outside the university will be invited to participate in teaching when and where necessary. Some staff members will be requested to direct and supervise the work of one candidate or a manageable group of candidates.

Assessment and examinations

There should be continuous assessment of each candidate, to constitute 40 per cent of the full mark per course (or subject); examinations conducted at the end of each course will constitute 60 per cent of the total mark; and final assessment is to be made on the overall performance of the candidate during the year. Only candidates who pass the firstyear examinations will be allowed to proceed to re search work in the second year. Degree examinations will consist of:
(a) written papers, with or without practical examinations;
(b) a thesis reporting the methods and results of the candidate's research; and
(c) an oral examination.


Proposed joint research project between university college, Swansea, and the university of Khartoum under the United Nations University arid lands sub-programme

H. R.J. Davies University College, Swansea, Wales, UK

At a conference held in Zaria, Nigeria, in 1966 Professor H. S. Darling, Director of the Institute for Agricultural Research at Samaru in northern Nigeria, expressed the view that the scientific solutions to agricultural crop production in northern Nigeria were either known or about to be known, that sufficient was known about economic factors involved to render this problem of rural development solvable, but that the sociocultural problem of getting the scientific solution accepted had hardly been even formulated (Sjo et al, 1967). Similar views have been expressed over the years by other authors such as Chambers (1974) in relation to East Africa. De Wilde (1967) writes, "Successful development of agriculture often requires an intimate understanding of the society within which it is to take place-of its systems of values and its customary restrains," as well as an understanding of the environmental and economic forces involved.

The Sudan has had a good record in rural development projects in the past. Nevertheless, fears have been expressed in recent years concerning the future of the Gezira Scheme (Barrett, 1977), the development of Khashm el-Girba (Dafalla, 1975) and crop yields in areas of soil exhaustion in the Gedaref Mechanical Crop Production Scheme (Shakkak, 1977).

Both the United Nations University Arid Lands Sub-programme and the proposed Joint Research Project between University College, Swansea, and the University of Khartoum owe their origin to the above situation and to the belief that the problems of rural development and rural changes are nowhere more urgent than in the arid and semiarid lands of sub-Saharan Africa, which have recently experienced a series of drier years than people had come to expect, resulting in loss of livelihood, disruption of national economies, and human misery. The UNU Arid Lands Subprogramme is concerned initially with assessing how known solutions to environmental problems have failed to be applied under specific conditions in arid and semi-arid areas. To this end it has commissioned a study into the success or failure of development projects in the Sudan. As indicated below, the Swansea/Khartoum Joint Research Project is concerned with this problem too. Its basic presupposition is that any successful rural development, especially in the arid zone, requires careful attention to environmental, economic, socio-cultural, and organizational difficulties. The project leaders feel that the most difficult problems are to be found in the socio-cultural sector: if people cannot identify positively with proposed changes the chances of their eventual success will be considerably reduced.

The Swansea/Khartoum Joint Research Project is a logical element in the UNU Sub-programme in that it proposes to investigate the interaction of relevant factors in rural development in a specific area within the arid and semi-arid Sudan, and it also falls within the area designated as a priority region by the Sudanese Government within its Desert Encroachment Control and Rehabilitation Programme (DECARP).

Furthermore, it is considered that the approach which we are undertaking should form a necessary part of the procedure for the training of Sudanese or other officials concerned with facilitating the transfer of known techniques and solutions to arid land problems. It is only through a proper understanding of the interaction of environmental, economic, socio-cultural, and organizational factors that rational and practicable solutions to problems can be introduced.

In addition, this research could form a pilot study for the possible development of out-stations, including the determination of their functions and field of operations.

The Swansea/Khartoum Joint Research Project

The Joint Research Project was initiated by the Departments of Geography at University College, Swansea, and at the University of Khartoum. It has developed from contacts at the personal level between the two departments dating back to 1960. In 1977 this co-operation was formalized into an academic link between the two departments under the sponsorship of the British Inter-University Council for Higher Education Overseas. The link arrangements cover academic exchanges for teaching and staff training at lecturer, postgraduate student, and technical levels. The two departments are also encouraged to develop some cooperative research, though the actual field of study need not be confined to that of the two departments concerned.

On the basis of interests in the two departments and urgent current problems in the Sudan, it was decided to investigate aspects of rural conditions in an area west of the Nile along the southern edge of the Sahara, within the area designated for priority research under the Sudan's DECARP Scheme.

The project area chosen lies to the west of the main Nile and White Nile between Shendi and el-Dueim, stretching westwards towards the Wadi cl-Milk. This area was chosen for the following reasons:
(a) it has been seriously affected by desertification;
(b) it is a manageable and reasonably accessible area for a relatively small team, but could be expanded if desired;
(c) it has received little detailed attention in the past; and
(d) it exhibits a wide range of differing ways of life:
-nomadic pastoralism;
-land rotation under rain-fed agriculture;
-irrigated agriculture, both modern and traditional;
-a number of market towns including some oasis centres; and
-commercial gum and groundnut production.

Aims of the project

The primary aims of the project in relation to the project area may be summed up as follows:
(a) to ascertain the existing situation;
(b) to ascertain the changes that have taken place during the past 20 years; and
(c) to make recommendations for remedial action. it is our belief that successful rural development requires attention to:
-environmental conditions;
-economic conditions;
-the socio-cultural traditions of the society; and
-administration and organization.

The project attempts first of all to make a study of these aspects within the area drawn from a range of disciplines. The study will also include an investigation of
-geological formations, landforms, soils and vegetation;
-climatology, stream flow and water-supply;
-agricultural patterns, landuse, and forest products, including gum production;
-population, population structure, population change,
-nomadism, and migration;
-transport and marketing;
-socio-economic aspects of urban and village life and struc sure; and
-formal and informal organizations and perception with special reference to local attitudes to rural changes.

Inevitably this will also involve the use of aerial photographs and satellite imagery, and a survey of research already carried out in the area, in analogous areas in the Sudan, and elsewhere. It is intended that these studies will be carried out at more than one level and that the general survey will be reinforced by case studies.

On the basis of our work it is hoped to define the basic principles for action. Our experience so far indicates that a successful rural development project requires:

(a) adequate in-depth research;
(b) adjustment of the proposed development to meet the most deeply felt needs and aspirations of the people affected so as to enable them to identify positively with the changes proposed;
(c) a sympathetic and understanding relationship of mutual respect between the project organizations and the people affected;
(d) an acceptance of the fact that instantaneous success cannot be achieved and that change must "hasten slowly" (failures not only waste resources, they also sap confidence); and
(e) an acceptance that there is no detailed blueprint for success.

Results to date

The project will not start officially until December 1978. However, some work connected with the project has been completed or is in progress:

(a) General studies: population studies and nomadism (in progress); climate, climatic change and water balance (in progress); soils and vegetation (1979); perception and rural changes (1979-80); organizations, government and the community (1979-80); transport and marketing (1979-80); central places and settlement interaction (1979-80); landforms and water-supply (early 1980); and rural land-use and agricultural patterns (early 1980).
(b) Case studies: Gummuiya Irrigation Scheme, in Southern Gummuiya between Omdurman and Jebel Aulia (completed).

Some of the interesting conclusions of the completed research so far are:

(a) Success in the eyes of the people may be different from that proposed by the planners. The Gummuiya Scheme was planned to produce vegetables and fruit for Khartoum. In practice it has become a large sorghum field, and the people view the scheme favourably because it has secured crops by providing irrigation water.

(b) It was assumed that cultivators would be interested primarily in growing a crop that would give them the most money. Our survey shows that though money is importent it is certainly not the primary need as seen by the scheme cultivators. Their priorities may be listed in order of:

-secure food supply;
-secure feed supply;
-more leisure and less hard work; and
- monetary gain.

In a region subject to periodic crop failures in the past, with an animals-owning tradition and where life is difficult, this list of priorities is hardly surprising. Irrigated sorghum provides all these with the minimum of disruption to existing ways. It is a crop with which they can identify; it provides the staple food; it can be used for animal feed; it requires relatively little work and its cultivation is known already; and it can be sold in Omdurman or Jebel Aulia either as grain or cut green.

(c) Even within 30 km of the capital city a crop production system suitable for the local environment and attuned to local economic demands is not a sufficient base to guarantee success in terms of the original aims.
(d) The establishment of trust and sympathy between the planners, scheme administrators and the cultivators is a prerequisite for success.
(e) The need for local involvement and genuine consultation was made manifest.
(f) The essential conclusion to be drawn is not that the planners were wrong or that the people are stupid. Merely that at this point in time, the original proposal appears not to have been the best scheme for southern Gummoiya, but it could very well have been suitable for some other parts of Khartoum Province.


Ultimately only the Sudanese can solve the Sudan's problems and only the Sudanese can decide on priorities and policies. All that the foreigner can do is to assist within the given framework when asked.

This means that the Swansea Geography Department's role in this research project must be on the following lines:

(a) provision of specialist facilities not otherwise easily available-e.g., aerial photographic interpretation facilities, cartographic assistance, computer facilities, printing, etc;
(b) experience and expertise in fields and disciplines which are at present weak in the Sudan, e.g., soil investigations, social surveys, etc.;
(c) experience and expertise in rural field studies acquired from other parts of Africa (east, west, and southern Africa), as well as from Europe; and (d) provision of suitably qualified manpower for case studies or fieldwork to support the manpower available locally in the Sudan; this would include particularly post-graduate research studies.


For such a joint research project as this to be successful, not only must both parties be committed to it, but the programme must also be flexible. It must be organized in such a way that failure to complete one portion of the programme does not invalidate the rest. The intention, therefore, is that it should end with a series of maps and reports which can stand by themselves, and form a coherent whole when put together.

It is hoped that this Swansea/Khartoum Joint Research Project can be fitted into the UNU Arid Lands Sub-programme in the Sudan, and into the work scheme envisaged for the University of Khartoum's new Institute of Environmental Studies.


Barnett, A. 1977. The Gezira Scheme: An Illusion of Development. London: Cass.

Chambers, R. 1974. Managing Rural Development: Ideas and Experience from East Africa. Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute for African Studies.
Dafalla, H. 1975. The Nubian Exodus. London: Hurst.

De Wilde, J.C. 1967. Experience with Agricultural Development in Tropical Africa. 2 vols. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins.

Shakkak, K.l. 1977. Mechanisation of Agriculture in the Clay Plains of the Sudan, with Special Reference to the Gadaref District.M.A. thesis. University of Khartoum.

Sjo, J., B.J. Buntjer, H,R.J. Davies, and D. Norman. 1967. Proceedings of a Seminar on Methods and Problems of Data Collection and Use for Rural Economic and Social Research. Samaru Miscellaneous Paper No. 16.

Relevance of the UN plan to combat desertification to the Khartoum workshop on arid lands management

G. Karrar United Nations Environment Programme

I participate in this workshop with the permission of the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), but the Views I express in this meeting are not necessarily those of UNEP. The participants in this workshop are well aware of UNEP's history, role, and activities. They are also informed about the United Nations Conference on Desertification, and some of them were involved in the preparations for that conference. The concern of the international community with the problems of desertification started prior to 1974, the year in which world attention was drawn to sharp focus on the problems of human sufferings of those living in the arid lands on the fringes of the deserts.

The United Nations Conference on Desertification

In December 1974 the UN General Assembly decided to (a) initiate concerted international action to combat the spread of desert conditions and (b) convene a United Nations Conference on Desertification which would produce an effective, comprehensive, and co-ordinated Plan of Action to Combat Desertification. The preparations for this conference took more than two years.

The outcome of the United Nations Conference on Desertification was a technical overview summing up the present state of scientific knowledge, a Desertification Map of the World and a comprehensive Plan of Action to Combat Desertification (UNCOD, 1978). In addition, there were several supplementary and background documents, e.g. scientific reviews, case studies, feasibility studies of cooperative transnational actions, etc. (UNCOD, 1977 a, pp. 133-37) which provided information, recorded and analysed experience, and presented the scientific evidence on which the recommendations of the Plan of Action were based.

The immediate achievements realized from holding the conference include:

la) the realization that desertification is an enemy of developing countries in that it is an obstacle to development and also a threat to the needs of growing populations;
(b) increased public awareness of the problems of desertification during the preparations for the conference;
(c) the realization that combative action is possible using existing knowledge;
(d) recognition of the vital importance of organizing and supporting national efforts against desertification;
(e) the realization that regional or transnational co-operation is essential in the fight against desertification (types for such co-operation have been developed); (f) the commendable acceptance and use by politicians and decision-makers, before, during, and after the conference, of scientific thinking and approach; and (9) the realization of, and agreement on, the vital role of public participation in planning and executing antidesertification programmes and projects.

The Plan of Action to Combat Desertification

The Plan of Action to Combat Desertification which was produced by the conference contained a set of 28 recommendations. Recommendations 1-22 dealt with actions at national and regional levels, and recommendations 23-28 were directed to actions at the international level. In almost every recommendation, the Plan of Action refers to the need to develop scientific capabilities and to apply scientific knowledge in development and management of resources. The principal pivot of the Plan of Action is the integrated approach of science in a broad sense and of technology in ecologically and socially appropriate forms, to activities related to halting desertification, reclaiming decertified lands, and utilizing resources in arid and semi-arid lands. Education and training are included in more than half of the recommendations. The interdisciplinary nature of the problems of desertification requires innovative approaches in education and training. This is illustrated in the proposed programme for research and training in the Institute of Environmental Studies in the University of Khartoum (el-Rasheed, 1978). Another important objective of education is to inform citizens and secure their participation in antidesertification activities.

The Plan of Action cannot be implemented without assigning priority to national action. This depends on a national plan that is comprehensive and stresses two basic elements, namely monitoring and assessment and land-use policy and planning. Success in combating desertification, a serious environmental problem, can be achieved through the coordinated and integrated action of
(a) application of science and technology,
(b) reform of socio-economic institutions including land tenure systems,
(c) mobilization of popular participation, and
(d) sound and efficient management systems.

The Plan of Action in Relation to This Workshop

Several recommendations in the Plan of Action are related to this workshop. Some of them, particularly recommendations 1, 2, 4, 12, 18, 20, and 23, are worthy of special mention.

Also relevant to this workshop are a series of transnational cooperative programmes and projects to combat desertification (UNCOD, 1977 b). The Sudan is participating in three such transnational projects. Activities in all three projects centre on arid and semi-arid lands, which are a common concern of this workshop and of the UNU Arid Lands Sub-programme. Their specific relevance will be referred to again in proposals for possible action.

The United Nations Environment Programme has been entrusted by the UN General Assembly with the responsibility for follow-up and co-ordination of the implementation of the Plan of Action. Among others, two main actions taken by UNEP in its world-wide endeavours to follow up the work of the Desertification Conference should be mentioned. These are:
(a) the establishment of a desertification unit in the UNEP secretariat; and
(b) the organization of the first meeting of the Consultative Group for Desertification Control authorized by the General Assembly to mobilize funds for the implementation of the Plan of Action. Project proposals based on the three transnational projects involving the Sudan and referred to in earlier paragraphs were considered and received favourable support during the first meeting of the Consultative Group.

Suggestions for Possible Action

Following consideration of the paper on the establishment of an Institute of Environmental Studies in the University of Khartoum and the assessment papers presented in this workshop on topics for research and training, and bearing in mind the severity of desertification problems in the Sudan and the commendable efforts it made in developing various programmes and projects to combat desertification, including participation in the three transnational projects, the following proposals are presented for consideration:
(a) There should be strong involvement of government officials in the Board and Academic Committee of the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Khartoum, as full or co-opted members, as appropriate.
(b) Arrangements should be made to link training and research programmes at the Institute of Environmental Studies with the transnational projects and with some selected development projects.
(c) Maximum use should be made of the vast field manpower in the ministries and government agencies in the Sudan. These field officers have been for several deccades the sole active extension-service personnel in the country. The important issue in this connection is to strengthen the link between the field services and the research institutes in the ministries and in the universities. Solution of several problems of management in arid lands should start by allocating problems to the research institutions for them to explore likely solutions, either by application of existing scientific knowledge and technology or by research for new solutions. Field staff should be co-authors of the reports and publications which result from this activity. This is an important prestige incentive to the field officers.
(d) Recommendation 4 of the Plan of Action calls for study and publicizing of positive and negative local and world-wide experiences of the role which industrialization and urbanization play under different social and economic conditions in changing the ecological status of the environment and in intensifying, preventing, or eliminating the processes of desertification in arid areas. It also calls for discussion of national experience of combining industrial development and urbanization in arid areas with crop and animal husbandry, irrigated farming, and forestry. The Sudan provides an opportunity for conducting these studies, for example, the development of Babanusa Milk Factory, Khashm el-Girba Irrigation Scheme, and several others.
(e) A study of the possibility of combating desertification by promoting complementarily between a predominantly grazing area and a rain-fed cropping area so that further deterioration in the first zone could be halted by preventing the extension of rain-fed cropping into marginal lands. The scheme provides for the supply of all cereal requirements of the inhabitants in the first zone, at subsidized prices, from the second zone for a period of, say, three years. The area southwest of Khartoum together with an area west of Kosti or in southern Blue Nile are suggested for this scheme.


Rasheed, M.A. el-. 1978. "Proposed M.Sc. Programme in Environmental Studies." Paper presented to the United Nations University Workshop on Arid Lands Management, Khartoum,

United Nations Conference on Desertification (UNCOD), 1977a. "Report of the United Nations Conference on Desertification." (A/CON F.74/36)

-. 1977b. "Transnational Projects: Description and Status of Feasibility Studies." (A/CONF.7413/Add.1)
-. 1978. United Nations Conference on Desertification, 29 August9 September 1977: Round-up, Plan of Action and Resolutions. United Nations, New York.

The Central arid zone research institute and its relevance to the United Nations University network in Africa

H.S. Mann
Director, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, India

The Arid Region of India and the Central Arid Zone Research Institute

The arid zone in India forms a part of the Thar Desert and covers about 12 per cent of the area of the country. It occupies about 3.2 million km² of the hot desert located in the states of Rajasthan (62 per cent), Gujarat (20 per cent), and Punjab and Haryana (9 per cent), besides small pockets (9 per cent) in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The semi-arid area occupies about 9.6 million km² in peninsular India. In addition to these, the cold desert of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir occupies an area of 0.7 million km² and presents an entirely different set of agro-climatic conditions.

Arid areas are characterized by acute ecological imbalances. The problems imposed by a low annual rainfall are accentuated by its erratic distribution from season to season. Average annual rainfall in the Indian arid zone varies between 1 50 and 500 mm, with a coefficient of variation as high as 6070 per cent.

The climate is characterized by high temperatures, with a mean diurnal variation of 14°C, the mean maximum being 32.7°C and the mean minimum 18.8°C. The mean relative humidity is 41 per cent. The region has a high solar radiation of 450-550 cal/cm² /day, and a mean wind velocity of between 10 and 20 kph, resulting in a high evapotranspiration of 6 mm/day and consequently a high mean aridity index ranging from 76 to 78 per cent.

The soils are mostly sandy, low in organic matter (0.1-0.45 per cent), with poor moisture-holding capacity (25-28 per cent) and a high infiltration rate. The pH values vary from 7.0 to 9.0, and the moisture deficiency is the chief limiting factor on agriculture. Ground water is very deep, generally brackish and saline, and there are no perennial rivers. Soil salinity and alkalinity further complicate the situation.

To worsen the situation further, the Indian arid zone is one of the most thickly populated deserts of the world. It has an average population density of 46 persons/km² as against 3 persons/km² in most other deserts. The arid region of India sustains a human population of over 19 million and a livestock population of 23 million. The daily human needs (food, feed, fuel etc.) of such a large human and livestock population are the main causes of desertification.

Nevertheless, these arid and semi-arid areas assume a strategic position in the overall Indian context, as seen from the fact that 60.5 per cent of the total area under cotton, 74 per cent of the area under groundnuts and 36.5 per cent of the area under other oilseeds in the country are located in these dry tracts. Even for food crops, these areas account for 64 per cent of the area under sorghum, 51.4 per cent of the area under millet, 46 per cent of the area under ragi, 30.5 per cent of the area under wheat, and 47 per cent of the area under pulses. Despite this large acreage under different major crops, the dryland tracts barely account for a fifth of the total food grain production of the country. This is an indication of their technological backwardness.

Thus the region has its own economic and social importance and has a direct and indirect influence on the economy of the country. Agricultural production and living standards in rural areas located in more favourable parts of the country are rising, and this has caused regional disparities and imbalances. Immediately after India attained independence, the importance of the arid regions in the national economy and development programmes was recognized and a Desert Afforestation Research Station was established at Jodhpur in 1952. The main objective of the station was to conduct research on afforestation. While emphasis on afforestation and silviculture continued, the station was re-organized and designated as the Desert Afforestation and Soil Conservation Station in 1957. The station was again re-organized and its name changed to the Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI ) in October 1959.

The institute is at present organized into seven scientific divisions, namely: Basic Resources Studies, Plant Studies, Animal Studies, Wind Power and Solar Energy Unilization Studies, Soil-WaterPlant Relationship Studies, Economics and Socioloy, and Extension and Training (Fig. 1). In addition, centres of the All-lndia Co-ordinated Research Project on Dryland Agriculture, the Coordinated Project for Improvement of Millets, the All-lndia Coordinated Research Project on Rodent Management, the Project for Research on Water Management and Soil Salinity, as well as two operational Research projects-one on Arid Land Management and the other on Drip and Sprinkler Irrigation- are also operating at the institute.

FIG. 1. Organization Chart of the Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur

CAZRI is now considered a leading research institute in southwest Asia, engaged in multidisciplinary scientific research for the reclamation, improvement and amelioration of desert conditions. The staff strength is over 600 scientific and supporting staff. It has excellent laboratories (Figs. 2 and 3), a library, and 15 field research stations in Western Rajasthan. The knowledge and technology evolved by CAZRI is influencing the planning of development programmes of various states in India. Besides, it supplies improved seeds of crops and germ plasm of improved and adapted trees and shrubs and organizes training for personnel of development departments.

Similarities and Common Problems of Arid Lands in India and the Sudan India and the Sudan have similarities and common problems in climate-in addition to sharing similar economic and social conditions as developing countries. Both are located in summer-rainfall tropical regions. The natural vegetation and a number of the crops cultivated in the arid areas are common to the two countries. A major percentage of the population in both countries is rural, and the main occupation of the people is agriculture and animal husbandry. The research experience of CAZRI over the last 25 years could be useful to both countries as well as to others in organizing and implementing the UNU Arid Lands Sub-programme.

Involvement of CAZRI in International Scientific Activities and Collaboration Programmes

Since its establishment, CAZRI has been associated with many international organizations and foreign governments. CAZRI was established with the active support and collaboration of Unesco under its Major Project on Arid Lands. Australia, through CSIRO, has provided an exchange of scientists, besides laboratory equipment and library assistance. A number of international conferences and symposia have been held at Jodhpur, some of which are listed below. In addition, CAZRI prepared a case study on Desertification in the Luni Block, Rajasthan, for the United Nations Conference on Desertification held in 1977. A collaborative project with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (Geneva! on Social Aspects of Desertification is in progress. India, through CAZRI, is executing a transnational project on Monitoring Desertification Processes and Related Natural Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas of southwest Asia.

International conferences and symposia held at Jodhpur, include:

(a) a symposium on Problems of the Indian Arid Zone, 23 November to 2 December 1964, organized jointly by CAZRI, India's Ministry of Education, and Unesco;
(b) a symposium on the Arid Zone under the auspices of the 21st International Geographical Congress, 22-29 November 1968;
(c) a seminar on Integrated Surveys and Range Ecology and Management, 9-27 November 1970;
(d) a training course on Integrated Natural Resources Surveys, 21 January-20 February 1978; and
(e) a symposium on Arid Zone Research and Development,14-18 February 1978.

The office of the Arid Zone Research Association of India is located at CAZRI. An important activity of the association is the publication of a quarterly interdisciplinary research journal Annals of the Arid Zone, which is in its eighteenth year of publication. A selected list of CAZRI publications is included in Appendix E.

Efforts by CAZRI in the Dissemination of Knowledge, Technology Transfer, and Training

As a result of over two decades of research activity by CAZRI, adequate knowledge and technology has been made available for transfer and adoption in rural areas. It has, however, been observed that little use is being made by the rural population of the knowledge and the recommended technology. The technologies recommended include dryfarming practices; seeds; fertilizers; pasture and range management; sand-dune stabilization and the establishment of shelter-belts; watershed management for stabilized crop production; optimum use of available water resources using improved techniques such as drip and sprinkler irrigation; control of diseases and pests, including rodents; horticulture; improved methods of animal husbandry, including sheep and goats; the use of solar energy for water-heating, cooking, and drying; and the use of big-gas for cooking (Fig. 4).

In view of this situation it was decided to establish a fullfledged Division of Extension and Training at CAZRI in 1973. The major functions of this division are:

(a) preparing and disseminating relevant literature in popular language;
(b) organizing training of developmental officers and progressive farmers; and
(c) implementing the Operational Research Project on Arid Lands Management.

In the project on Arid Lands Management, a cluster of five villages near Jodhpur has been selected to work in collaboration with CAZRI scientists and staff of Extension Agencies and farmers. While demonstrating special technology in the farmers'fields and in their homes, the scientists study constraints in the transfer of technology. The usual constraints are operational, social, ecological, economic, and technological. This programme has been in progress since 1975, and it is hoped that with the feedback the scientists will be able to identify the specific constraints in the transfer of technology in this area. This understanding should help narrow the gap between the level of knowledge and its application. Thus, the philosophy and objectives of the Operational Research Project in progress at CAZRI are quite similar to those of the UNU Arid Lands Sub-programme. Consequently, collaboration between CAZRI and the UN University through its network programme would be of mutual advantage.

Proposed training programmes in arid lands management at the university of new south Wales

J.A. Mabbutt University of New South Wales, Australia

The University of New South Wales proposes that the experience of arid lands research and management that has been gained at its Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station, and the considerable resources that it has built up there and at its W.S. and L.B. Robinson College at Broken Hill nearby, should be mobilized in the provision of training programmes in arid lands management, suited particularly for graduates from developing countries. The appended programmes (Appendix F) indicate the range of training that could be given, and would form the basis of more detailed planning in due course.

The university was granted the lease of Fowlers Gap Station, 100 km north of Broken Hill, in 1966. It is an area of 40,000 ha, mainly of the chenopod steppe rangeland type which characterizes much of the arid zone of southern Australia. The station is situated near the north end of the Barrier Range and contains a variety of land types offering excellent opportunities for field training and research. With its annual rainfall of about 200 mm, the station typifies the conditions under which much of the extensive wool-growing industry of arid Australia operates.

Since the university took over the property in 1966, $A 1,100,000 has been spent in developing and maintaining the station. More than 275 km of boundary and sub-division fences provide over 40 paddocks to enable a wide variety of experimental work to be carried out. A reliable watering point is provided in every paddock from three bores and nine surface waters, with an interconnecting reticulation system of over 80 km of poythene pipe (Fig. 1).

Accommodation for permanent staff and visiting personnel is provided in the homestead complex, which consists of five cottages, a staff quarters building to accommodate 14 visitors, and a self-catering dormitory block for 30 persons. A laboratory and a small library are provided in a separate building within the homestead complex.

A number of schools of the university have carried out research and post-graduate teaching at the station during the past 12 years. Much of this has been related to management problems of the regional pastoral industry, using the station flock of about 6,000 sheep, and for this purpose the station is managed on lines somewhat similar to those followed by other pastoral stations in the area, but in the service of the experimental programmes. Other investigations relate to various aspects of the arid environment and its management, and much of this work is conducted against the background of land systems which have been identified and described on the station (Mabbutt et al., 1973) and in the adjoining region (Mabbutt et al., 1972).

The station is locally administered through the W.S. and L.B. Robinson College at Broken Hill, which forms an important link between the station and the university in Kensington and helps to maintain the necessary link between research work at Fowlers Gap and the problems of the local pastoral community.

Under the programmes, training would be offered in several branches of arid lands and pastoral management, leading to the award of graduate diplomas, masters' degrees by formal studies or by research, and the Ph.D. by research.

The programmes are built around the three centres of the University of New South Wales:

(a) schools of the university at Kensington, a southern suburb of Sydney, offering basic teaching subjects, project and thesis supervision, and training in data handling and analysis;
(b) W.S. and L.B. Robinson College at Broken Hill, offering support teaching and study facilities to trainees carrying out training and field research at Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station: and
(c) Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station, offering facilities for field training and field studies, including integrated research projects.

Schools at Kensington collaborating in these programmes provide courses in applied geology, botany, civil engineering, geography, surveying, wool and pastoral sciences, and zoology.

A feature of the programmes is the inclusion of an integrated project or thesis topic related to the central theme of the productivity of land types at Fawlers Gap Research Station. Such courses will form a basis for the design of extensive grazing systems. The themes will encompass the functioning of eco-systems of characteristic land types, the climate and the dependent water, sediment and soil-nutrient balances at representative sites, the resulting vegetation processes and patterns and the fauna supported, the response of vegetation to grazing by sheep and feral animals, and the options in range management and animal production.

It is anticipated that, where appropriate, trainees will gain practical experience by short-term attachment to government agencies concerned with arid lands management, such as the Soil Conservation Service of New South Wales and the CSIRO Division of Land Resources Management.

FIG. 1. Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station


Mabbutt, J.A., et al. 1972. Lands of the Fowlers Gap-Calindary Area, New South Wales. Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station Research Series, No. 3.

-. 1973. Lands of Fowlers Gap Station, New South Wales Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station Research Series No. 2.

Geographical research in francophone countries of the western and central Sahel

J. Gallais
University of Rouen, France

African Research Centres

The Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN) in Dakar has a long history in research and publication. In the past it concentrated mainly on the natural sciences (botany, zoology, geology) or on geographical, archaeological, and historycal studies, but today Islamic studies and history are of increasing importance.

The Centre Voltaique de Recherche Scientifique (CVRS) in Ouagadougou, the institut Nigerien de Recherche en Sciences Humaines in Niamey, and the Institut de Recherche en Sciences Humaines (IRSH) of Mali in Bamako have good libraries and control national records. They can provide some facilities and accommodation. Moreover, research permits are often issued through them.

The Departments of Geography of the Universities of Dakar, Ouagadougou, and Niamey have conducted research in recent years. At Dakar there is also a post-graduate section for junior researchers.

French Research Centres Active in the Region

The main centre is the Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique Outre-Mer (ORSTOM) at 24 rue Bayard, 75007, Paris, which includes the following sections: geophysics, geology, pedology, hydrology, oceanography, soil biology, botany, phytopathology, biology and plant improvement, agronomy, parasitology and entomology, nutrition, sociology, economics and demography, geography, and ethnology. More than 60 senior researchers belong to the geography section, 40 of them working in Africa and about 15 in the SudanoSahelian belt. Local centres of ORSTOM exist in Dakar and Ouagadougou.

Several French universities also have research centres devoted to the geography of tropical Africa. At Bordeaux, the Centre d'Etudes de Geographie Tropicale (CEGET) has a strong team specializing in the humid tropics. At Paris, the Centre de Recherche Africaniste is a multi-disciplinary centre for the social sciences. The main programme of the Laboratoire de Recherches sur les Regions Seches at Rouen is on tropical dry Africa, with other programmes on dry India (Andhra Pradesh) and the Northeast of Brazil. Details of the staff and research projects of the laboratory, the locations of its research, and the main publications are shown in Appendix G.

Characteristics of Francophone Research in the Western Sahal

There has been strong support for research on the following topics following the dramatic drought of 1969-74:

(a) pastoral adaptive strategy and the future of pastoralism in the Sahelian belt, including the problems of nomadism;
(b) traditional strategies of pastoralists and agriculturists and modern economic decisions;
(c) demographic pressures on drylands, and migrations between areas of high and low population density; and
(d) geographical analysis of development schemes in terms of ecological balance, socio economic results, demographic trends, and extra-regional effects.

As far as methodology is concerned, Francophone geographers follow their traditions of a strong emphasis on field research with long periods of fieldwork, to gain progressive knowledge of a cultural or ethnic area. This tradition is maintained by the long period of research required for the doctoral d'etat.

Suggestions for Training for Arid Lands Management

On the basis of the experience of French geographers in the western Sahel, academic training must be linked closely to direct regional experience. For that reason the best training should be organized on the basis of a preliminary analysis of the problems of a sample area, and the staff must have first. hand knowledge of the area before beginning the course. Training should, therefore, be divided into three periods; (a) preliminary investigation by staff in the field; (b) joint field research by staff and post-graduate students; (c) extrapolation from regional problems to the general level of academic training in arid lands management in the university.

Research and training programmes can be oriented towards greater practical efficiency and closer linkages with administrative units in two ways:

(a) Research preliminary to a decision on development: undertaking regional inventory and analysis of environmental problems (man and nature); social and demographic trends; and economic levels and problems.
(b) Research supporting a development scheme conducted in three stages:

- acquiring preliminary knowledge of the human and natural environments;
- Monitoring the progress of the development scheme; and
- investigating the socio-economic and ecological results of the development scheme.


Management strategies for drylands: available options and unanswered questions

Douglas L. Johnson
Clark University, USA

Low productivity per land unit is a salient feature of most dryland ecosystems. Limited rainfall inputs, small and highly localized surface water resources, scanty or non-existent vegetation, and low population totals combine to place constraints on the total productive capacity of both the cultural and physical components of dryland eco-systems. These constraints tend to encourage the development of relatively low-intensity, extensive resource-use systems.

However, there are exceptions to these low productivity situations. Wherever primary resources exist in close juxtaposition, such as in oases or exotic river valleys, zones of intense, highly productive development are found. Thus, a considerable range of resource-use strategies using both extensive and intensive techniques presently exists, exploiting available dryland resources with varying degrees of success, technological sophistication, and environmental impact. Such management strategies provide a rich experience from which development planners and local entrepreneurs can select a mix of opportunities suited to local needs and objectives.

Attention in this paper is focused upon the strategic level of resource management. This is considered to be an intermediate stage of conceptualization between grand theory about development on the one hand and the technical aspects of project implementation on the other. The articulation and advancement of the theory and philosophy of development is being ardently pursued elsewhere (e.g., Hettne and Wallensteen, 1978) and is beyond the scope of this paper. Concern for resource management strategy extends to the more specific tactical level of project implementation technique, local change, and the institutional support required for development (Jigging, 1978), but such issues are only tangentially considered here. Rather, the intent of this paper is threefold. First, it identifies the major factors that promote the development of dry-land resource management strategies. Second, it inventories the characteristic types of strategies that are used in dry environments. Finally, it indicates in a preliminary fashion the major questions and gaps in knowledge that arise from examination of current management strategies.

Factors in a Management Strategy Matrix

Every management strategy is the product of a wide array of factors. These factors influence the decisions of liveli hood systems in all environments, although the precise combination of factors and their relative importance vary widely. The relevant factors can be grouped under three categories:

(1) primary resources and production systems;
(2) land-use system interaction; and
(3) socio-economic conditions.

Primary resources and production systems

One approach to assessing the potential range of strategies is to consider the primary resources available to dryland populations. Air, water, land, and earth are the fundamental elements upon which the primary production systems of the drylands are constructed. Air resources are most often amenity features such as warm temperatures or abundant sunshine, but also may include the potential wind power. Water resources, whether surface or subterranean, are generally extremely localized, whereas the land resources of soil and vegetation are most frequently extensive in space and dependent on rainfall. Earth resources include minerals and fossil fuels found in sub-surface geologic strata. Similar categories could be used to describe the resource potentials of any eco-system.

However, the resources setting of the world's drylands derives its uniqueness from the extreme paucity of its moisture endowment and the diversity of its local physical systems (Cooke and Warren, 1973). To this salient feature the resource-use strategies of the zone are adjusted. Moreover, the moisture deficiency of arid and semi-arid areas means that soils are often poorly developed, the primary productivity is low, and a boom-or-bust pulsation characterizes the ecological rhythm of the system (Noy-Meir, 1973). This pulsating rhythm, and the often lengthy period intervening between growth stages, has led many scholars to view dryland eco-systems as being extremely fragile. This fragility perspective underlies much of the literature associated with the recent World Conference on Desertification (UNCOD, 1977a; Rapp, 1974; Glantz, 1977), and has attained the status of a scientifically accepted truism. Yet there is contradictory evidence on the topic which suggests that dryland eco-systems may be far more resilient than generally supposed. When protected, some Sahelian areas have shown an ability to recover rapidly (Bradley, 1977), while in India three years of above-normal rainfall have resulted in a drastic decrease in the incidence of the dust storms previously taken as an indicator of accelerating degradation (Krishnan, 1977). Although dryland eco-systems may require more careful management than more humid areas, and may impose differing types of constraints, we are only beginning to understand the resilience-stability boundaries that define the limits of safe system-use. For this reason, if for no other, the traditional production systems of the drylands offer instructive perspectives on the ways in which primary resources can be utilized.

The primary resources, and the livelihood systems based on them, can be visualized as components of a matrix (Fig. 1). The land-use systems indicated represent exemplary livelihood groups rather than a comprehensive listing. Each could be further sub-divided; it is in these activities that the bulk of the dryland population is engaged, and it is here that future management strategies will have their major impact. Each of the major primary productive systems contains a number of strategies. These can be grouped broadly into indigenous strategies employed at a local level and based on traditional native technologies, and introduced or introduceable modern strategies that have been tried in, or proposed for, a number of different socio-economic settings. By studying the positive contributions and cautionary experiences of varying combinations of activities using different technologies, it is possible to assess the merits of the options available.

Land-use system interaction

To avoid a static and classificatory analysis, the resource systems matrix must be extended in several directions. This is suggested by Fig. 2, which indicates some of the factors that must be taken into account. One need is to see each land-use system as part of an interactive framework in which both competition and symbiosis operate. Part of the resilience of traditional dryland resource-use systems derives from their ability to draw on several sets of resources. Thus, both dry farmers and pastoralists tap arboreal resources by collecting gum arabic in addition to their basic livelihood activities. Farmers and pastoralists traditionally had spatially overlapping, but seasonally discrete, use of the grass and water resources of the inland delta of the Niger, and a strict set of rules governed respective rights to those resources (Gallais, 1972). The system in dryland floodplains is even more complex than this farmer-herder dichotomy indicates, for fishing cultures actively engaged in the use of the aquatic resource potential at both local and regional scales. Moreover, the boundaries between these livelihood groups are not always immutable and individuals may shift from one production system to another as advantage offers. The result is that three livelihood modes depend on the same space at different times of the year. Fish require the seasonally flooded floodplain as a breeding ground, farmers plant crops in the moist soils as floods recede, and herders graze these areas in the dry season after crops are harvested. Any assessment of management options requires careful attention to the interactions between different livelihood modes, since a change in any component of the system can have important ramifications for the other parts of the livelihood mix.

Land-use systems not only interact with each other at one point in space, but are also linked to similar systems elsewhere. These spatial linkages exist across environmental zones. Decisions taken outside the control of local systems can have great impacts. Favouring agricultural production over pastoral systems, for example, can place the latter under severe stress. Another way to look at the same issue is to consider the role that scale plays in land-use systems. Some primary production systems depend on highly localized resources, yet have an impact on global economic health and well-being. Petroleum is a good example. Similarly, the global market price for groundouts may influence both the prosperity of dryland, non-irrigation farmers and their ability to withstand drought. Moreover, the vitality of amenity-resources activities such as tourism depends on the prosperity of the international economic system. Consideration of these scale effects in the management options of drylands is important.

FIG. 1. Primary Resources and Land-Use System in Dryland Eco-systems

Socio-economic factors

The final dimension involves integrating a variety of socioeconomic factors into the analysis of resource-use systems, environment, and scale. Some of these factors are indicated on the vertical axis of Fig. 2. The demographic dynamics of a population, the array of skills it possesses, and its propensity to migrate to labour opportunities elsewhere, for example, can have a profound impact on the ability of a livelihood system to absorb new technology or to bring degradational pressures to bear on its environment. Access to regional and global markets, degree of transportation system development, experience and depth of administrative institutions and expertise, standard of health care, technological sophistication, and many other factors are also significant aspects of livelihood-system vitality.

These socio-economic sectors are important in all land-use systems at differing scales, although the impact varies from one situation to another. Operating as dynamic processes, socio-economic factors govern both the regional mix of landuse systems and their mutual relationships. They are also important ingredients in defining the direction and rate of change.

Basic Strategies: An Inventory

Within each of the land-use systems of drylands are a number of management strategies. These can be analyzed as a series of five contrasting strategy options. For analytical purposes these five types are discussed as if they were mutually exclusive and totally contrasted. In the real world they are often mixed and blur into one another. Here the objective is to deal with the central tendency of a particular strategy rather than its multitudinous variants.

Dispersed versus concentrated

The contrast of small specks of highly concentred resources amid the widely dispersed, low productivity resources characteristic of dry environments is reflected in a major difference in strategy. Where resources are concentrated, as in oases or along allogenic rivers, intensive exploitation strategies are the rule. Because large, concentrated populations can be supported under such circumstances, these strategies tend to be labour-intensive. Until recently, the technology of irrigation utilizations and their political and economic stability closely correlated with the size of the labour force that could be controlled. Withdrawal or disorganization of this labour force could have serious consequences for population survival and system stability and result in a shift in system organization to lower levels of integration (Adams, 1965; Fernea, 1970). The same principle of resource concentration and labour productivity operates in smaller-scale ganat systems (Wilkinson, 1977; Redmer, n.d.) and in the terraced agricultural regimes of mountainous areas in the arid zone. Once labour is withdrawn for more productive investment elsewhere, as is the case in contemporary Yemen, preservation of the concentrated resource itself can become difficult.

FIG. 2. Scale, Environmental. and Socio-Economic Factors in Dryland Resource Systems

Mineral resource exploitation systems are excellent examples of concentrated resource strategies, because of both their limited spatial distribution and their employment of large quantities of capital and (traditionally) of labour. Without a concentrated, high value resource to exploit, the rigours of aridity discourage significant development. Essential to the development that does take place is the input of substantial support, usually in the form of subsidies to support infrastructure development, from ecologically and politically more favoured areas outside the arid zone. The expectation, at least theoretically, is that ultimately returns on the investment will justify the expenditure. At present, the industrialized world favours investments in low-water-use industry rather than in the mineral/petroleum or agriculturally-oriented water development projects that characterized the early phases of development (UNCOD, 1977b). Whether this selective and concentrated strategy is available to most Third World countries is open to question.

Where concentrated strategies are not feasible, development has focused on strategies that make use of dispersed resources but support few people. These dispersed management strategies require flexible and opportunistic utilization of widely scattered resources. The classic example of this type of strategy is pastoral nomadism. In this mode of life, movement, often over vast spaces in a seasonal cycle, permits the exploitation of seasonal or ephemeral grass and water through an animal intermediary. As specialized animal herders, pastoralists are often dependent for a considerable portion of their diet on adjacent agriculturists exploiting concentrated resources. On occasions, the two livelihood systems overlap spatially (although not temporally) in their use of resources, whenever migratory animals are grazed on post-harvest stubble or on dry-season pastures unexploited by sedentary populations.

Significantly, however, in most traditional contexts the choice is between a dispersed or a concentrated strategy. Seldom do livelihood systems select a mix of the two strategies. This extreme specialization may reflect the arid zone's position at the extreme end of a wet-to-dry ecological gradient. Boundaries between resources are so sharply defined, and the mobility required to exploit dispersed resources is so great, that livelihood specialization is the only reasonable response. Yet instances can be found where both dispersed and concentrated strategies are included in the livelihood adaptation of one social group (Dyson-Hudson, 1972; Salzman, 1972). Whether this reflects the wider range of opportunities made available by a more gradual ecological gradient or is an adaptive response to modernization and associated changes is uncertain. But in general it has proved difficult to cross livelihood-system boundaries, especially where they are reinforced by ethnic and other cultural factors (Horowitz, 1972).

Single sector versus comprehensive planning

Few examples of comprehensive planning for dryland resource use exist. Perhaps the best example of such planning as applied to water management in a semi-arid zone is Israel, where very careful controls are applied to water allocation and use (Mandel, 1977). The result is a very efficient extraction of a limited moisture supply for maximum benefit to supply competing agricultural, urban, and industrial water users. Attempts are being made to develop ecologically based development plans (Dasmann, et al., 1973) up to and including entire ecological zones (EMASAR, 1975). But these efforts are a product of ecological awareness of the last decade, and seldom plan for a variety of complex interacting land-use systems. Where this attempt is made, as, for example, at the recent UN Conference on Desertification (UNCOD, 1977c; UNEP, 1978), the results are often not applicable at the national level or are based on questionable assumptions.

Most development strategies still follow a single sector, projectby-project approach that defines project boundaries narrowly and is often uninterested in effects occurring outside project limits. This makes it very difficult to assess the success of projects following the single sector strategy, since what might be accounted as successful within the project may have unassessed adverse effects elsewhere. Efforts to extend mechanized, dry-farm agriculture can be a success if one is considering only the increased productivity generated for the agriculturists concerned; however, the long-term effects on the environment and on other livelihood systems can be severe indeed. Many of the problems encountered both by nomads and farmers during the Sahelian drought were a direct consequence of over-enthusiastic expansion of agricultural space (Unesco, 1977).

Likewise, the use of floodplain soils for large-scale irrigation schemes can have a deleterious effect on the productivity of fishing cultures. Not only is water essential to the survival of the fish diverted for other purposes (Hewitt, 1977), but also the breeding cycle of many fish depends on having access to the nutrient-rich, shallow waters of the inundated floodplain (Welcome and Henderson, 1976). Denied access to these resources, fishing cultures can be seriously undermined, with consequent impact on human dietary sufficiency. Natural aquatic systems cannot be replaced easily with aquaculture for many reasons, including unsuitable local soils, changes in water quality, and the absence of requisite skills for undertaking aquaculture among the local population (Coche, 1967; Coche, 1978). This is not to argue against irrigation. Rather, it is to stress the need to consider the interaction of a number of livelihood systems and to assess the possible gainers and losers before any development strategy is implemented.

This point attains particular significance when one considers the role that subtle factors may play in assessing the gains and losses of development. In semi-arid parts of Kenya the extension of irrigation has taken place on darker, moisture retentive soils. The farmers occupying these soil areas now use them exclusively for their irrigated crops. These farmers gain substantially in income and the nation profits from larger and more assured yields. In the past large numbers of farmers had access to this land through kinship networks; in drought periods this guaranteed most people access to minimally adequate food supplies. This opportunity is now denied, and marginal individuals become increasingly stressed (Wiener, 1977). This history could be multiplied many times over (Johnson, 1977). The crucial point is that, although the land lost to irrigated agriculture is only a small fraction of the total cultivated acreage, it plays such a critical role in the stability of the local land-use system that its diversion to other (and, when defined in a narrow sense, admittedly more profitable) uses can have disrupting impacts on a substantial part of the population.

Even within the tightly constrained boundaries of a single development project, it is difficult to determine success. Most observers would grant that the Gezira Scheme is a successful development project both in terms of its contribution to the national economy and its improvement of living conditions of farmers on the scheme. But even this level of success has been challenged by Barnett (1977) on the grounds that cash cropping increases dependent economic relationships and results in social inequities. It is also possible that a project may not attain anticipated goals and yet be a positive experience. Both Hoyle (1977) and Sorbo (1977) argue that the mixed agro-pastoral livelihoods that have grown up in the Khashm el-Girba scheme, and in the Butane generally, have been beneficial, although unintended by project designers. In this instance indigenous strategies have been combined to create mixed livelihood systems that spread risk and increase stability. In so doing they indicate the extreme flexibility and opportunism that traditional land-use systems can exhibit in integrating new opportunities. The benefits that result from this mixed approach provide support for a more comprehensive planning strategy at the regional level.

Indigenous versus introduced

An illuminating contrast can be made between strategies developed experientially over long periods of time through interaction between a culture and its environment and production strategies developed elsewhere before being brought into a new environment. The distinction is between indigenous and introduced, or potentially introduceable strategies.

It is useful to consider strategies from this perspective because their objectives are often very different.

In dealing with a fluctuating environment, many indigenous strategies are primarily concerned with risk reduction. Their objective is to guarantee food supply and thereby preserve both group identity and values (Gallais and Sidikou, 1978).

Often these strategies are designed with the worst event in mind, and coping mechanisms are structured in such a way that the survival of the group is assured. In extreme cases, such as the Kalahari Bushmen, resources that could support a larger population are left unexploited (Lee, 1969). When a drought occurs, population, food, and water are not seriously out of balance, and drastic impacts on population are averted.

Other traditional strategies exhibit more flexible adjustments, but still keep this risk factor very much in mind. Nomadic strategies are very much oriented towards increasing land size during rainy periods as rapidly as possible in order to convert as much of the primary production as possible into mobile animal units. These can walk away from drought-stricken areas and either be converted into food and food products for direct consumption or sold in urban market systems. Dahl and Hjort (1976) have demonstrated that these pastoral strategies represent sound management techpiques, given the objectives of the local group. Precisely because indigeneous strategies differ in their objectives from introduced systems, serious dislocations, both environmental and social, can attend the uncritical and incomplete transfer of exogenous techniques (Ravignan, 1977).

Introduced management strategies are generally designed to produce sustained yields over long periods. In pastoral schemes this usually emphasizes the quality of output rather than quantity. In agricultural activities the emphasis is placed on maximizing yields. In both livelihood modes new management skills and technology are frequently, if not always inevitably, integral components of introduced strategies. It is because the skills, technologies, and objectives of these new systems are at variance with indigenous experience that most of the difficulties arise.

Two sciences exist, one an ethno-science and the other a techno-science. Their view of problems and opportunities is likely to be quite different. Whyte (1977) describes an example of this in central Mexico where indigenous farmers view erosion on hillslopes and the subsequent entrapment of soil behind checkdams in valley bottoms as a positive benefit, whereas technicians are more concerned about stabilizing hillslopes and retarding erosion. Because there is often a wide gulf between indigenous and introduced viewpoints, improved communications systems that can sympathetically bridge this gap are needed. This task has scarcely begun.

Pulse versus homeostasis

Pulse and homeostasis strategies continue the juxtaposition of indigenous versus introduced strategies into another dimension. The critical issues here are twofold: (a) what are the acceptable exploitation limits to which a dryland ecosystem can be pushed; and (b) what are the best models to follow, opportunistic or steady-state strategies?

Pulse strategies emphasize the capture of enough productivity during positive pulses in the physical environment in order to survive negative swings by using stored reserves. A certain amount of gambling with the environment is inherent in this type of strategy, but over time coping mechanisms become deeply imbedded in the land-use system and risk becomes minimized. All persistent cultures possess this feature. Pastoral livelihoods accomplish it by forgoing consumption in the present, encouraging rapid herd growth when fodder is abundant, converting surplus animals into land, jewelry, or other consumer durables, and reconverting these "banked" resources into animals when herds are decimated by drought. Irrigation livelihoods accomplish the same resistance to flood or drought by elaborating social controls over individual labour, storing food in central granaries, and organizing labour to maintain and defend the system. Dry farmers scatter their fields with the same end in view. The adjustment of Great Plains farmers to semi-arid conditions was a complex process requiring nearly 100 years (Warrick, 1975), and the process is still not complete. Where indigenous coping mechanisms do not exist, or have been destabilized, extraordinary efforts must be made to rectify the situation. The Indian Drought-Prone Areas Programme is an attempt to build development on a flexible, pulse-oriented strategy that stresses both preparation for bad periods and contingency planning to take maximum advantage of favourable periods.

While such devices can minimize the effect of recurrent hazard, they are always vulnerable to sudden, unexpected levels of stress or to activities that undercut the bases of their adaptation. Gibson (1974) has suggested that social pressures, for example, may have encouraged shortened fallow cycles, increased salinization, and ultimately promoted the collapse of large-scale irrigation civilizations in ancient Iraq.

To survive in a dryland environment requires an ability to cope successfully with often extreme productivity fluctuations. Many introduced strategies, because they are oriented towards sustained yields, essentially envisage a homeostatic adjustment. The desire is to stock rangeland, for example, at some level below absolute maximum capacity that will permit sustained yields despite environmental fluctuations. The difficulty lies in determining what the safe level of exploitation might be, and how much productivity is to be surrendered to attain security. In extreme cases the exploilation levels advocated are so low that only massive depopulation would make their attainment possible, an exploitation strategy analogous to that of the Bushmen, but with politically unacceptable implications.

The issue is very real because little agreement exists as to what constitutes an appropriate homeostatic level. If it is set too high, the risk of vulnerability to an extreme, infrequent, and random event is heightened (Holling, 1973). Since instrumental (although not experiential) knowledge is limited, the danger of exceeding the stability-resilience boundary is very real. It has been estimated (Clawson, Landsberg, and Alexander, 1971) that although the maximum flood recorded at Baghdad in the Tigris and Euphrates basin over a 57-year period is 12,000 m³/second, a level of 34,000 m³/second could be attained under the right conditions. Should such a flood occur, it would cause serious problems for the existing irrigation system. While this is an extreme case, the widespread efforts to sedentarize pastoralists substitute just such homeostatic systems for the flexible pulse strategy of the traditional adaptation. As has been pointed out by Asad, Cunnison, and Hill (1976) with reference to the Sudan, but with equal applicability to most other dryland settings, the consequence of this trend is not only likely to be the loss of otherwise unexploitable resources, but also social and environmental disruption in the settled zones.

Small-scale versus large-scale

Scale is a crucial factor in dryland management strategies. It is a factor in the organization of all land-use systems, since there is an optimally effective scale for each. The case that best illustrates this point is irrigation. One school of thought argues for very massive infrastructure development on a grand scale, typified by the Aswan Dam, in order to achieve a quantum leap in productivity in a short time. More impressed by the ecological problems associated with such large-scale projects, as well as by their chequered record of economic and social success, an opposing school argues for smallscale projects closer to indigenous experience that can more readily be made compatible with local systems. There is now a substantial body of evidence (White, 1978) which suggests that neither perspective is particularly valid. Small-scale projects below 1,000 ha are inefficient; above 10,000 ha irrigation projects become unwieldy and fail to achieve their objective. Only if the project is so grandiose that it is possible to bring in a substantial cadre of expatriate managers, often a politically impracticable policy, is there much hope of success. The optimal irrigation project size ranges from 2,000 to 6,000 ha. Similar scale considerations undoubtedly operate in other land-use systems and need to receive careful attention in future research.

Questions in Dryland Management Strategies

Review of current strategies for managing dryland resources indicates that there are several areas in which further research is needed. These topics do not represent total gaps in knowledge. Rather, they are often subjects about which considerable information has been accumulated, but ones where controversy still swirls around the proper interpretation to be placed on the known facts. Identification of these issues constitutes neither a research nor a training programme, but phrasing them as questions may help clarify potentially fruitful lines of enquiry.

The imminence of ecological disaster

Progressive degradation under the pressure of a relentlessly expanding population is the most common image of the future of the world's drylands. During each drought, fears are expressed that indigenous systems are on the verge of collapse and that ecological disaster is impending. Desertification is a much discussed process, the reality of which is widely accepted.

That deterioration has taken place in some areas is incontrovertible, but it is probable that the process is spatially more selective, and causation is more complex than is generally recognized. When livelihood systems return to predrought behaviour, and the ecological system shows signs of recovery, is this an indication of resilience or merely a temporary reprieve? Were people fortunate to have experienced only hardship rather than the predicted disaster, only to await a darker fate the next time round? There do not exist sufficient longitudinal surveys and adequately controlled baseline studies to present a clear picture of the extent of environmental disruption, its irreversibility, or the points at which shifts to new system states will occur. Attention needs to be paid to the diversity of dryland eco-systems, in particular to differences between wetter and drier subsystems, in efforts to determine ecological vulnerability. Not only is longitudinal monitoring of dryland eco-systems, imperative, but the development of perspectives and strategies that come to realistic terms with the reality of dryland environments is essential. Better knowledge of the levels at which accumulated stress in cultural-ecological systems causes abrupt changes to new, probably less productive states would yield useful management results.

Identifying successful development

Surprisingly enough, it is not easy to identify management strategies, and the development projects that implement these strategies, that are viewed as successes by students of development. Few are willing to express even qualified support for individual projects, let alone unbridled enthusiasm. For anyone wishing to accentuate the positive, the search for potential candidates is long and hard.

The cause of this pessimism is not an excessively critical negativistic attitude on the part of the academic community, nor the dismal record of good intentions going astray. Rather, there seems no accepted framework within which to measure success, to distinguish between positive and negative change, to trace cause and effect to reasonable conclusions, or to distinguish peculiar, local from general, systemwide factors.

Until it is possible to elucidate general principles and apply them in full awareness of the diversity of local ecological and livelihood forms, it is likely that partially successful strategies at best will result. To the extent that the peculiar constraints of dry environments are not made the starting point for management strategies, it is difficult to see how obstacles to development will be overcome. Until flexible strategies are adopted for rangelands that ensure mobile pastoralists access to, and control over, adequate seasonal pastures, until the myth of the perversely irrational traditional herder unwilling to sell animals is challenged, until land-management planning restricts dry farmers from invading excessively risky areas (or adequate forms of support and insurance are devised), or until water is allocated among competing resource-use systems at the national level, false starts will continue to outnumber productive ones.

Application of scientific knowledge

Impressive scientific knowledge about dryland problems exists in the scholarly world. The arid zone research series supported by Unesco is an important scholarly achievement containing numerous benchmark summaries. Whether the research results recorded in these volumes ever had significant pragmatic impact is, however, more debatable. At the implementation level, technologists can design impressive management systems, technology packages, and hybrid crops. Yet the efforts of scientists and technologists seem to falter frequently when they shift from laboratory or experimental plot to field implementation.

Although cost-effective, technologically compatible systems can be designed, adoption and diffusion of innovative devices and practices by the populace is an almost random business. The Central Arid Zone Research Institute at Jodhpur has impressive field trials of household-scale biogas-generating plants now under way (Malhotra, Singh, and Sen, n.d.). Technically speaking the systems seem admirable -simple, modestly priced, energy-efficient. Yet astoundingly little interest in the system seems to be exhibited by nearby families. Similar examples could be cited in every country.

The design of technical solutions to problems is a relatively simple matter; adoption is often excruciatingly difficult. Human factors impede the development process far more than technological barriers. Social scientists have relatively few answers when challenged to show and tell what will work, although the identification of what will not work is often easier. Three precepts might be offered:

(a) the human aspects of the development process need to be the point of departure, not the final consideration when all other elements are in place;
(b) institutional arrangements must be adequate at the local scale if success is to be achieved; and
(c) management strategies must be built from the ground up (within the context of a comprehensive plan) making adequate allowance for the diversity of local experience and resources. This implies that modestly scaled development projects that take their initial inspiration, although not necessarily their ultimate form, from indigenous understandings and perspectives have the greatest likelihood of success.

Ethno-science and techno-science

This in turn implies that the fundamental requirement in dryland resource management is that of developing better systems of communication between local ethno-scientific knowledge and techno-science perspectives. This is a relatively unexplored area, and one that requires a great deal of trial-and-error experimentation and monitoring.

Experience in Syria (Draz, 1977) indicates that it is possible to take indigenous strategies as a point of departure for new management strategies. Much of Syria's rangeland deterioration stemmed from unrestricted grazing permitted in the euphoric post-independence era. Once traditional concepts of protecting the tribal homeland were reinstituted, tribal control over grazing territories re-emerged, and modified versions of traditional irrigation patterns were re-established, degradation was arrested. Tied in to a system of management cooperatives, fodder warehouses, and pre-market fattening establishments, the bedouin are now commercial muttonproducers rather than the self-sufficient wanderers of popular mythology.

Given time, effort, and sympathetic understanding it is possible to bridge the gap between indigenous and introduced science. The new amalgam that emerges can become self generating, but the participation of local committed individuals and institutions is essential if the process is to succeed.

TABLE 1. Questions and Implications in Dryland Management Strategies

Strategies Questions Implications
Dispersed versus concentrated Imminent ecological disaster? Research:
(1) stability-resilience in dryland systems;
(2) substitutability of concentrated for dispersed resource-use systems;
(3) development of mixed livelihood systems; and
(4) identification of ecological principles and problems.
Single sector versus comprehensive planning Criteria for identifying project success? Training: focus on short training workshops that upgrade skills in:
(1) social impact analysts;
(2) project evaluation; and
(3) eco-system analysis.
Indigenous versus introduced Communications gap in applying scientific knowledge? Training: training programs (diploma and M.Sc.) that prepare development officers with skills required to bridge the ethno-science techno-science barrier.
Pulse versus homeostasis Design flexible resource-use systems that anticipate drought? Research:
(1) identification of the successful principles
of traditional systems that can be adapted
to contemporary conditions; and
(2) develop new coping strategies to replace destabilized adaptations.
Small-scale versus large-scale Appropriate scale for indigenous and introduced systems? Research: inventory and analysis of the most
effective operational scales for dryland livelihood systems.

Appropriate scale in dryland development

Modest-scaled activities would seem to be most appropriate if indigenous systems and inter-scientific communication are to be the points of departure in dryland management strategies. These will either feature large populations in small areas, when concentrated resources are the object of attention, or small populations in large areas when dispersed resources are being exploited. While a clear sense of the desirable scale for irrigation systems exists, less conclusive data are available for other livelihood systems. Introduced management strategies are associated with clear notions of scale, and these are usually larger than is customary in indigenous systems. Study of the proper scale to meld the two strategies has received even less attention. Of equal importance is the need to develop mixed management systems that combine several environments and land-use systems into an integrated strategy. Spontaneous indigenous responses to external stimuli seem to be more successful at accomplishing this objective than the formal efforts of planners.

Implications for Research and Training

The questions raised by examination of existing dryland management strategies have at least partial answers, for they suggest profitable research directions and training opportunities. These implications are outlined in Table 1.

Concern about the potential for ecological disaster in drylands makes it mandatory to undertake serious investigation of the stability and resilience of dryland eco-systems and of the human livelihood systems dependent on them. Equally important is the study of the extent to which dispersed resource-use systems can be replaced by, or converted into, more intensive specialized and concentrated systems. The pursuit of higher productivity is pushing development steadily in this direction. Yet it is possible that mixed livelihood systems combining agro-pastoralism might yield better long term results if seriously studied and developed. Certainly, identification of the ecological principles, both indigenous and introduced, that promote development with a minimum of wasteful ecological deterioration is necessary.

Training programmes that upgrade the quality of development-planning and emphasize the need for a comprehensive approach merit serious consideration. Such programmes would have the greatest impact if they were oriented towards current planners and were of short duration. Employing a workshop format, they might have skill improvement as their primary objective. The areas that would yield the most immediate returns in terms of broadening the sophistication of current development planning are social impact analysis, project evaluation (particularly in its social aspects), and ecosystems analysis. Concentration on these areas enables individual projects and their potential impacts to be investigated in a larger context, beyond the project site.

Observed gaps in communication between indigenous and introduced sciences are not likely to be bridged in a short workshop format. They require a richer array of skills that are more time-consuming to acquire. The development of a skilled staff dedicated to promoting interaction and communication between indigenous and introduced science and to improving extension effectiveness appears to be a critical national development priority.

Research is also an important need if flexible resource-use systems operating at appropriate scales are to be developed in drylands. This research thrust should begin by identifying the principles of resource-use employed by successful dryland livelihood systems. The specific social forms are less important than developing a clear understanding of their basic rationale. Specific social forms are likely to be quite mutable, whereas the underlying principles often are violated only at peril. Careful attention to principles and scale may make development less traumatic and more successful, as well as improving the ease with which destabilized traditional structures are replaced with new coping strategies.


The land-use systems and management strategies of drylands that exhibit the greatest potential for success are those that are firmly based upon the innate potentials and characteristics of specific regions and their inhabitants. Introduced, large-scale, single sector strategies offer seemingly attractive opportunities for rapid productivity increases, yet these efforts have attained only modest success. The encouragement of carefully integrated mixes of strategies that link complementary environmental zones and livelihood systems offer attractive alternative options. When these strategies are developed from an indigenous understanding of environment and development, the prospects for success seem greater.


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Some aspects of local government and environmental management in the Sudan

Salih A. el-Arifi
University of Khartoum

Traditional economic behaviour is very much influenced by the environment. In the absence of sophisticated technology, environmental control over livelihood patterns and means of production becomes almost absolute. Since choices are carefully defined, man strives to utilize and fulfil such choices to the best of his knowledge and needs. Concepts such as rational resource-use and protection become essential in achieving an unchallenged existence and continuity of life. As such, it is rational to assume that traditional societies avoid man-made environmental catastrophes, since these will drastically affect their lives. Because of such fears, people regulate the use of available resources and become sensitive to environmental demands and changing conditions. For example, shifting cultivation and pastoral nomadic migration are forms of rational resource-use and exhibit an inherent human reaction and sensitivity to particular environments in the absence of scientific knowledge and advanced technology. Such behaviour or adjustments are intended to achieve subsistence and to strike a balance between environmental conditions and the present and future needs of society. To achieve this, the sense of the environment is embodied in local cultures, and in the process of evolution many institutions and simple organizations have emerged to regulate resource-use and to make it possible to meet the limited demands of traditional life systems.

In addition, man has learned to conserve resources, either through land-use systems or by inventing technology for resource conservation. For example, the triangular nomadic migrations of the Kababish are meant to avoid summer grazing areas, thus preserving water supply and pastures for another season of the year. Similarly, the Hamar of western Sudan have evolved a system of conservation of limited resources using traditional technology. Among the Hamar, hollowed trunks of tebeldi (Adansonia digitata) are used for storing water for the dry season. Furthermore, the traditional method of construction of wells in sandy areas of western Sudan, where underground water is available, becomes a dynamic factor controlling population distribution and land carrying capacities. The construction and maintenance of such wells are very specialized operations. Digging in unstable sandy layers, for example, must be accomplished by simultaneously digging and lining the interior of the well from the top downwards with the roots and branches of sidr trees (Zizyphus) or similar species.

Regulations and protection of land and related resources are observed by individuals according to their established rights and supervised by an arbitration system under traditional leadership. In sedentary communities there are three rights: the right to a plot of land for constructing a hut; the right to a piece of land for farming: and the right to cut wood, which may be extended to include gum arabic collection. These traditional rights are protected by relatively limited demands and by local leadership. In some cases rights and obligations become laws, and failure to observe them constitutes a punishable act. In this regard, Sultan Dali's laws and regulations were perhaps the best example of codes passed and enforced with the intention of protecting resource-use in Darfur in the seventeenth century [Sin, 1957). Such laws, or traditional land-use were meant to create an equilibrium between human demand and the capability of the environment.

None of the present traditional systems in the Sudan can be viewed as a closed system since they are constantly being subjected to urbanizing influences, which, quite apart from the drought (mahal), are bringing about new man-environment relationships. Although drought is an external factor, people have evolved systems of adaptation to accommodate its periodic occurrence. As a result, several options are open to present-day farmers: they may either revert to pastoral nomadism, grow quick-maturing crops, or migrate elsewhere. All these options are operating in western Sudan.

Urbanizing influences come from modernization programmes, which may or may not be well planned and co-ordinated, and from increasing urban demands for the natural resources and livestock products of the traditional sector. Poorly conceived modernization programmes and increasing demands for the products of the traditional sector of the economy have resulted in new relationships which adversely affect the ecological equilibrium. This is reflected in cultural and other activity patterns and in environmental conditions.

The People's Local Government Act was enacted in 1971 in an attempt to modernize traditional systems of government. The present paper aims at looking at this new local government organization in the Sudan, and its effect on manenvironment relationships. The new system of local government will be judged by its adaptability and effectiveness in observing and enforcing the values of traditional society as far as land-use and environmental protection are concerned. Only the impact on grazing and forestry in western Sudan will be considered. It is hoped that this short analysis will highlight the problems of urban dominance in planning for rural areas, and what is required of local administrative organizations from the viewpoint of environmental management.

Some Environmental Aspects of the Native Administration

Before the system of native administration was dissolved, it was responsible for maintaining order, organizing the use of resources, preventing crime, and collecting taxes. The system was based on heads of tribes and their subordinates, from the smallest unit of the village or nomadic camp upwards into various levels and areas of administration. During the colonial era, the British government endorsed the native hereditary system of government and passed several laws and regulations to organize and regularize the administrative and judiciary powers of native administrators. Key enactments include the Powers of the Nomadic Sheakhs Ordinance, 1922, the Powers of Sheikhs Ordinance, 1927; and the Native Court Ordinance, 1932 Through their wide representation and their qualities of leadership and power, they performed government duties at all local administrative levels.

Generally, native chiefs were influential and extremely dominant in local political and economic lives. Some, however, were accused of being exploitative and openly dishonest. Moreover, they supported powerful non-urban and non-leftist political parties, rousing sentiment against them and calls for the abolition of their positions. This became a reality when urban and leftist politics became dominant after 1969.

The powers of traditional leadership were intended to regulate the use of the environment and to prevent its destruction. This authority was either embodied in various government natural resources ordinances or acquired by tradition. For example, the former 1932 Forest Ordinance gave the nazir, the omda, and the sheiks* the right to arrest any person reasonably suspected of having been concerned in a forest offence (Sudan, forest Ordinance, 1932). Furthermore, such offences could be tried under native courts, again headed by local leadership such as the chief (nazir, mek, or sultan) or his deputies. In addition to this and other government laws and ordinances, the native administration performed other hereditary functions related to the use of the environment. For example, in annual tribal conferences many problems related to tribal boundaries, nomadic migration routes, water supply and grazing appropriations were settled, in addition to trying theft and murder cases. Such annual meetings were attended by all the leaders concerned, and were successful in at least organizing the use of resources ahead of time and reviewing and settling existing problems. Low-level readerships existed to supervise and implement such tribal agreements and regulations. Problems such as fires were dealt with immediately and agreement on punishment or compensations was arrived at, either through the administrative leadership or the arbitrating elders (known as agaweid, ugada, or damalieg). The tribal organizations may have had different ranks of elders or wise men who dealt with problems according to the degree of seriousness.

In the process of organizing the use of resources, some hereditary rights of chiefs were thought to be exploitative. For example, in many places in western Sudan, the nomads were made to pay adalat el-Beir (a form of traditional tax) to local chiefs in return for using the local pastures and water supplies. Although this tax went to the chiefs, it was paid against an assurance of future water supplies. In essence, this tax was no different from water charges now paid to government for frequenting its watering points.

Other rights might include, for example, a royalty levied on the collection of gum arable from nomprivate plots. This royalty was decided on the basis of a percentage of the amounts collected by individuals, and was usually paid to the most senior native leader. Because of such private payments, leaders developed an interest in the hashab tree (Acacia senegal) and discouraged cutting or burning. Furthermore, fire breaks were cleared by the local people every year after the rainy season, according to the law and regulations, and this annual activity was carried out under the supervision of local leaders.

From this limited number of examples of the obligations of local leaders, it is evident that they were people of sufficient knowledge and skill and well-positioned to solve disputes and regulate the use of resources according to government laws or hereditary rights that were well-observed and appreciated by the community.

The 1971 People's Local Government Act

The People's Local Government Act of 1971 replaced the 1951 Local Government Ordinance and abolished the functions and duties of traditional native local government. The objectives of the Act are to create an advanced system of administration with political and economic functions and create better channels of decision-making from the village or nomadic camp upwards to the provincial level (Sudan, Ministry of Local Government..., 1971). In rural areas, village councils and nomadic camp councils are now grouped into rural councils and these in turn are grouped into area councils supervised by the People's Province Executive

Councils (PPEC) which run the provinces. Under the powers provided by the Act, Sections 5 and 6 explain the duties and obligations of each PPEC in relation to agricultural activities and animal wealth respectively. Section 5, Article 9, gives the PPEC the rights to administer and develop forestry; similarly, Section 6, Articles 1 - 10, explain PPEC activities for the promotion and development of animal wealth. It is clear that such activities are mostly developmental and clearly fail to discuss or stress protection and conservation. In addition, each local council has permanent committees, including committees for land-use and for animal wealth, established to exercise the powers and duties of the council provided by the Act. Village and nomadic camp councils can have up to 18 permanent committees to look after and promote local activities. Since such committees do not have clear administrative authority and since arbitration is not part of their functions, their role in supervising the present use of resources will be greatly handicapped. Furthermore, the Act discouraged the participation by the traditional leadership (mostly leaders of the displaced native administration) in new government organizations, at least until very recently. The ousting antagonized these powerful and very influential leaders, eventually turning them against the functioning of the new system of government (el-Arifi, 1978).

New Environmental Relationships and the 1971 Act

The mission that prepared the Sudan's Desert Encroachment Control and Rehabilitation Programme reported that "desert encroachment in the Sudan is a man-made phenomenon caused by such land-misuse pressures as overgrazing, irrational cultivation, wood cutting and deforestation, uprooting shrubs for fuel, lowering of water-tables due to increased water use, and burning of grasslands, forests, and shrubs"(Sudan, Ministry of Agriculture ...,1976)

There is no doubt that such malpractices are not new to the Sudan, but were formerly dealt with and managed at local levels. Some of these malpractices have become acute in recent times under increased land-use pressure in precarious semi-arid environments with unpredictable and highly variable rainfall. Pressures on resources are either local or external. Internal pressures due to increases in human and animal populations increase demands on unimproved environments, which in turn lead to competition for natural resources. The effects of competition to fulfil needs become cumulative and lead to intensification of misuse of the land. For example, pastoral nomads extend and alter their migration routes, which bring them into conflict with others, and consciously overstock to guard against uniforme seen consequences. In recent times many desert nomads have been pushing southwards into more humid areas. For example, the Zagawa, Kawahla, and Kababish have extended their southern movements into the region of the Baggara (cattle) nomads.

Internal pressures have also been created by uncoordinated, poorly conceived, or badly implemented projects. Such projects produce new carrying capacities and, in the absence of livestock off-take marketing mechanisms, fail to accommodate overstocking and therefore set the stage for new misuse relationships.

For example, the provision of water supplies to rural areas is generally effected in isolation from other economy improvement programmes. The lack of co-ordination between water supply and pasture management and improvement will eventually reduce the utility of watering points. Other poorly conceived programmes include primary education programmes which are very urban in their orientation and outlook for nomadic areas. The best example of such a poorly implemented programme is to be found at Gerih el-Sarha in northwestern North Kordofan Province. The conceptual framework of settling nomads using their available resources without switching them to farming is in itself acceptable, but because of uncoordinated planning and problems in implementation, the Gerih el-Sarha Settlement Scheme failed to achieve its objectives.

External or non-rural demands can also create serious pressures, particularly for wood fuel and livestock products. The annual per capita consumption of wood fuel has increased from 1.62 m³ to 2.00 m³ between 1962 and 1976/77 (Mukhtar, 1978). This per capita consumption varies among different regions of the Sudan. It is highest, reaching 2.80 m³, in the arid and semi-arid areas where most of the urban population of the Sudan resides (elBushra, 1972). With the existing high urban population growth rates and the persistent use of wood as a source of energy and heating, it is evident that wood-cutting must increase proportionally to meet the rising urban demands. For example, in Khartoum, Nile, Northern, Kassala, and Red Sea Provinces, the estimated total wood consumption for 1976-77 was 11.03 million m³ while the estimated annual allowable quantity was 2.70 million m³. it is estimated that these provinces receive about 4 million m³ from other source areas, and the fuel deficit of at least 5 million m³ is made up from meagre local sources (Mukhtar, 1978).

Again, urban demands for beef and mutton are higher than in rural areas. The annual per capita consumption of mutton is estimated at 13.5 kg, four times that of rural areas, and that of beef is estimated at 26.5 kg in urban areas and 10.5 kg in rural areas. Since almost all the urban demand is supplied by producers from the traditional sector, namely pastoral nomads, the function and the size of the herds are expected to change. This, in addition to other government services, has caused animal numbers to expand and multiply several times over. It is estimated that animal numbers increased four times between 1956 and 1966. By 1974 the Sudan had approximately 40.1 million head of livestock, mostly in western Sudan. Obviously, such increases must have their environmental impact.

The above-mentioned factors, in addition to the lack of knowledge of the consequences of environmental misuse, the indifferent attitudes of urban people, the lack of law and a competent agency to enforce it, and the failure of local government units created by the 19,71 Act to fill the vacuum produced by the liquidation of native administration, have all led to a misuse of resources leading to depletion of forests and pastures and soil exhaustion. In fact, on account of the shortcomings of the 1932 Forests Law, the Department of Forests has recommended a new law which will soon be promulgated. But the department is short of personnel and funds to carry out any effective afforestation programmes or protection measures (el-Rasheed, 1975).

From the previous discussion, it is clear that the 1971 People's Local Government Act has weakened authority at lower levels, creating a vacuum for the supervision of resource-use according to laws or traditional custom. The power to protect and guide annual use, punish, or arbitrate vanished. The end-result is that people use resources in a manner that fits their immediate needs as influenced by the internal or external forces mentioned above.

Judging from the various government reports on the problems that face effective administration and the use of resources in rural areas, it is evident that the Act is an urban innovation alien to the general framework of rural society, culture, traditions, and institutions. It may be quite adequate for the needs of the urban areas, and may fit the ideology of the urban-based Sudan Socialist Union. However it is not adequate nor responsive to local needs for maintaining an equilibrium between a precarious environment and a traditional society formerly protected by the presence of local authority under native administration. In the absence of this authority and under the diffused power structure of the Act, the use of the environment has become unpredictable and highly uncontrolled.

Conclusions and Suggestions for Future Research

(1) Innovations in developing traditional societies should be viewed within their socio-cultural economic needs and adapt to prevailing man-environment relationships.
(2) Similarly, the traditional points of view should be incorporated into any innovation, whether it be an eco nomic stimulus or a law.
(3) From the above brief survey, it is evident that the 1971 people's Local Government Act has many environmental failings. Above all, it is unable to perform the regulatory and protective functions of the abolished traditional native system of administration.
(4) Because of this failure, environmental problems resulting from misuse of the land are beyond the abilities of institutions. There is no doubt that the existing system of local government will require reforms until more capable organizations emerge. Other programmes of improvement, implemented in isolation from the required reforms in the system of local government, are also doomed to fail.
(5) Resource management and use are bound by cultural institutions, whether local or imposed from outside. The People's Local Government Act is an external factor which has had many consequences for the management, use, and utilization of natural resources in the Sudan. Future research should focus on the new relationships produced by the Act and test the performance of the administrative organs and institutions created for the protection, conservation, and proper use of resources in rural Sudan.


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Wildife conservation in the arid zone of the Sudan Wildlife conservation in the arid zone of the Sudan

Mutasim Bashir Nimir Wildlife Research Division, Khartoum

Salah Abdel Rahman Hakim Agricultural Research Corporation

In the desert and semi-desert regions of northern Sudan, deterioration of the vegetative rover as well as the disappearance of wildlife are recognized as the main features of desert encroachment. The Sudan's Desert Encroachment Control and Rehabilitation Programme (Sudan, Ministry of Agriculture..., 1976) described the problem es a man-made phenomenon caused by such pressures of misuse as overgrazing, irrational cultivation, wood cutting and deforestation, uprooting shrubs for fuel, lowering of watertables due to increased water use, and burning of grasslands, forests, and shrublands.

It is generally accepted that the right approach to fight desert encroachment is through planned land-use. One goal which the right management of the land should fulfil is the protection of wildlife in areas threatened with desert encroachment. This cannot be achieved without developing a national land-use policy for the whole region based on reclamation and conservation of the available resources.

The savanna region of the Sudan is also subjected to overuse induced by the loss of marginal lands to the desert and the movement of the nomads to the south in search of new pastures. Introduction of mechanized agriculture is also adding to the problem in many areas, as it reduces the available natural ranges and affects livestock and wildlife. Wildlife in the savanna region is deteriorating, and it is evident that serious efforts are needed to protect it.

The status of wildlife conservation in northern Sudan is unsatisfactory. Deterioration of wildlife habitats is occurring at an alarming rate. Competition with other land-uses is affecting many of the wildlife habitats. Several species such as oryx (Oryx algazel), addax (Addax nasomacalatus), addra gazelle (Dame dame), Sommering gazelle (Gazella someringi), and leopard (Panthera pardus) are threatened with extinction.

Existing legislation on wildlife and national parks in the Sudan is inadequate to help conserve what is left. The Wild Animals Ordinance of 1935, as amended in 1971, is the basic legislation under which the wildlife administration operates. Under this ordinance, national parks, game sanctuaries, and game reserves were declared. Hunting
is prohibited in national parks and game sanctuaries; it is permitted in game reserves only if a special permit issued by the Director of the Wildlife Administration has been obtained.

According to the 1935 ordinance, only one national park exists in northern Sudan, namely the Dinder National Park. Three game reserves exist: Tokar, Rahad, and Sabloka. Three game sanctuaries exist in the area between Omdurman Bridge and Gordon's Tree, the district situated 6 km on either side of the road leading from Sinkat to Erkowit and the district lying within 16 km radius of Erkowit.

Conservation in these "protected areas" is unsatisfactory. It should be pointed out that no major changes have been introduced in the 1935 Ordinance concerning national parks, game reserves, and sanctuaries. Some of the game reserves and sanctuaries are no longer worthy of their name, because all game animals have disappeared from them and their natural habitat has been destroyed. On the other hand, no attempts have been made to include other areas which contain game animals as game reserves and sanctuaries.

A new wildlife and national parks legislation was drafted in 1974 but has not Yet passed as law. The proposed ordinance will present better conservation measures for national parks and other protected areas. Although the proposed ordinance suggests a new national park in the Radom area of Southern Darfur, no attempts are made to improve the situation of game reserves and sanctuaries.

The Wildlife Administration is the government agency entrusted with the management of wildlife and national parks and enforcement and implementation of the Wild Animals Ordinance. Fraser Darling (1961) pointed out that the Wildlife Administration was originally conceived as a licensing and policing body and had been manned as such. He advised the government to adopt the newer concept of a wildlife department as a technical, natural resource conserving body, intimately concerned with the management of habitats and animal populations. Very minor progress has been achieved towards that goal.

The Wildlife Administration is manned by 80 game officers and inspectors, of whom only two have post-graduate training, seven are university graduates-biologists with no wildlife training-six have been recruited during the last two years in junior posts, and the remainder are graduates of secondary or intermediate schools with no scientific training, with the exception of two who are holders of diplomas in wildlife from the Mweka College in Tanzania. There are 214 game scouts working for the Wildlife Administration, all of whom have had military training and some instruction about the Wild Animal Ordinance, no scientific training.

The Wildlife Administration does not have adequate means of transportation and lacks the necessary equipment to perform its duties.

The Wildlife Research Division was initiated within the Wildlife Administration in 1968 and was attached to the Agricultural Research Corporation in 1975. The division has a research staff of nine research scientists, four of whom are holders of masters' degrees in range and wildlife management, but it lacks transport vehicles, laboratories and equipment. Although there is some co-ordination between the Wildlife Research Division and Wildlife Administration, their relationship needs to be officially defined.

Conservation in Game Reserves, Sanctuaries, and Other Game Areas

The conservation status of the three game reserves of northern Sudan can be rated as uncertain. The Rahad Game Reserve has been subjected to human settlement in many parts. Cultivation, over-grazing, and felling of trees have resulted in the disappearance of wild animals from most parts of this reserve.

The Sabloka Game Reserve, specially established for the protection of the wild sheep (Ammotragus lervia), is no longer believed to hold any of them. Similarly the situation in Tokar Game Reserve has been deteriorating, but no recent data are available.

The Wildlife Administration has not arranged any patrolling system to guard the game reserves. Wildlife Administration posts are located far from the game reserves, and lack of transport and personnel makes any attempts at protection or surveying impossible. Some of these game reserves have not been visited by any representative of the Wildlife Administration during the last five years.

Conservation status in the three game sanctuaries is not much better than in the game reserves. Protective measures for wildlife and their habitats are lacking. There are many signs of deterioration. Immediate action might stop over-grazing and uprooting of shrubs in the Erkowit Sanctuary and help in conserving the habitat of the Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana). The situations in Sinkat-Erkowit Road Sanctuary and Omdurman Gordon's Tree Sanctuary should be reevaluated before deciding what are the chances of improving their conservation status.

Whilst the conservation situation inside the "protected areas" of the arid zone cannot be considered a happy one, there are other areas outside still containing wildlife, but these also need immediate conservation efforts.

In the desert region of Northern Kordofan and Northern Darfur some wildlife still remains. The dorcas gazelle (Gazelle dorcas) and ostrich (Struthio camelus) occur in small numbers throughout the area, and the red-fronted dame gazelle (Gaze/la rufifrons) is present in many localities. The Barbary sheep is found in some of the rocky hills in the region. Other associated species are also present throughout the region (Sudan, Ministry of Agriculture.... 1976). An aerial survey by Lamprey (1975) did not report the presence of the addax, the oryx, or the addra gazelle, but their re-introduction in the region is feasible.

In the Red Sea Hills the Nubian ibex is found in many localities. The dorcas gazelle and ostrich are scattered along the Red Sea coastal plains together with other associated species.

In the Baga area west of el-Dueim and in the extensive desert reaches west of Omdurman to the eastern boundaries of Northern Kordofan and north of Omdurman to the southern boundaries of the Nile Province, large numbers of dorcas gazelles are present. These two areas are subject to overgrazing, uprooting of shrubs for fuel and poaching.

Jebel el-Dair, south of el-Rahad in Northern Kordefan, has a good population of the greater kudu (Strepsiceros strepsiceros). The kudu population of Jebel el-Dair is subject to poaching, and the habitat is deteriorating because of intensive felling of trees and burning of grass and trees.

In Khor el-Pasai and other localities in Kassala Province a good population of Sommering gazelles is found, with other associated species.

Conservation Status in the Dinder National Park, Radom and Abyei Areas

Desert encroachment in the north has induced increased pressure of land-use in the savanna region. It is important to study the impact of this increasing pressure on Southern Kordofan, Southern Darfur, and the Dinder region, and there is an immediate need for integrated land-use polices for these three regions.

The Dinder National Park is the only national park in the northern regions of the Sudan, and it contains great potential in terms of its economic, aesthetic, and scientific values. The proximity of the park to Europe adds to its tourist potential.

The park is not a complete ecological unit for many species of animals, as large groups of animals migrate to wet-season ranges outside the boundaries of the park.

During the last ten years unlicensed mechanized farmshave spread into the wet-season ranges, which are used by the migratory animals of the park. Efforts to stop unlicensed agriculture have failed and the area cultivated is increasing every year.

Licences are issued to establish farms around the park without any co-ordination with the Wildlife Administration. Work has already started on a 400,000-ha farm north of Jebel el-Gerri which is expected to have a serious impact on the animals as it is diminishing the area of the wet-season habitat. Other 400,000 ha farms are planned for the near future.

Expansion of agriculture has diminished the area of natural pastures available for domestic livestock in the Dinder region. During the months from January to June there is considerable trespassing by livestock within the park. A 1977 report by the Wildlife Research Division stated that livestock trespassing within the park had increased by 400 per cent during the last three years.

Hashim and Nimir (1977) maintained that during the last six years there has been a significant decrease in the populations of tiang (Damaliscus korrigum) and waterbuck (Kobus defassa), amounting to 60 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. They explained the decrease as a direct result of the expansion of mechanized agriculture on wet-season ranges and livestock trespassing in the park during the dry season. In addition to competition for food between livestock and wildlife, trespassing in the park has caused outbreaks of rinderpest (1972) and anthrax (1974) among the wild animals.

Stage two of the Rahad Scheme will involve the construction of a canal to transport water from Roseires Dam to the Rahad River. The Rahad Canal is expected to block the migration route of the park animals. Two FAO experts, Holsworth (1968) and Dasmann (1972), studied the problem and advised the Sudan government to modify the suggested canal. They predicted that the canal would cause a serious reduction in the animal population in the park. No official response has been made to the suggestions offered by the two experts.

During the last four years the Forestry Administration has issued licences to charcoal producers to work in areas surrounding the park. This practice is also threatening the wet-season habitat of the animals.

Immigrants arriving in the Dinder Region from western Sudan and neighbouring West African countries are increasing in number at a high rate. They have established several villages in areas adjacent to the park, where they have started cultivation, felling trees, and poaching. The local government is not controlling the spread of this settlement.

The above-mentioned factors point to the urgent need for a land-use policy in the Dinder region. To reach better coordination, government ministries and administrations concerned with agriculture, irrigation, hydro-electric power, water development, wildlife, forestry, pastures, tourism, local government, and other relevant agencies should agree on a land-use policy to control the over-all development of the Dinder region.

The Radom area (southwestern Southern Darfur Province) has a rich and diverse flora and fauna. It is proposed to declare it a national park. Because of the presence of the tsetse fly, there is no livestock in the area. The area is sparsely populated and only primitive cultivation is practiced. Every summer, nomads from Northern Darfur invade the Radom area in large groups armed with modern weapons, and practice poaching. They kill hundreds of animals and have an active business in dried game meat and skins. The Wildlife Administration in the province needs immediate reinforcement to enable it to stop such activities and protect the animals.

The Abyei area (southwestern Southern Kordofan Province) has a rich fauna and flora. Immediate plans are needed to establish a game reserve or national park in the area. Meanwhile, measures to controlover-grazingare needed, as nomads from Northern Kordofan and neighbouring West African countries invade the area every summer with their Iivestock.

Land-Use Practices in the Absence of a Land-Use Plan

Shortage of food coupled with a rise in population in the Third World in general has forced these nations to dedicate more land of agriculture to produce more food. The Sudan is no exception. This attitude, in the absence of a scientific landuse policy, has resulted in several problems. Cultivation of marginal lands returned a crop for a couple of years before production dropped drastically and cultivation became uneconomic. Then the abandoned farms with their vegetative cover removed were open to erosion. The loose soil was blown away in the wind, the topsoil and its nutrients were removed by runoff, with rain splash in the rainy season aiding the process. The eco-systems were generally impoverished, and the land became unsuitable for any kind of utilization.

The drive to put more land into agriculture swallowed up vast areas of already-exhausted natural livestock ranges, leading to a similar result. According to the Sudanese Environmental Conservation Society (1978), only 10 million ha are left as natural ranges in the three provinces of Gezira, Blue Nile, and White Nile. With a carrying capacity of 12 ha/unit/annum, this area can support 800,000 animal units. If it is assumed that the crop residue in the area will support 1 million animal units,then the whole area can support a total of 1.8 million animal units. When this figure is compared with the actual number of 5 million animal units (Watson, 1975) we are left with 3.2 million animal units above the carrying capacity. However, the situation is a good deal worse, since 1.6 million ha of unlicensed cultivation and 2 million ha of proposed agricultural schemes have not been accounted for in the above figures. This shrinkage in natural ranges has accelerated even further the process of over-grazing and range deterioration. Carrying capacity will be steadily lowered in the arid land belt across the whole country. This belt has a long history of over-grazing.

To the nomads of northern and central Sudan the number of animals one owns is a measure of one's social prestige. This, together with the low needs of a nomadic family for cash, has discouraged the nomad from selling his animals. The rate of removal from the herds fell far below their rate of growth, and as the growing number of animals exceeded the carrying capacity of the range the process of over-grazing began. The perennial grasses were gradually replaced by annuals. The palatable nutritious perennials fixed the soil, protected the topsoil from erosion, reduced its loss of moisture, and kept nutrients in the system. The less nutritious annuals were less efficient in all these aspects. They hastily completed their life cycle and dried up in the sun of the early dry season and thus facilitated the fires that consume 15 per cent of the natural fodder in the savanna belt (Range Department estimate).

This multiplied pressure on livestock ranges had its direct effect on wildlife. As the livestock ranges were taken over for cultivation or became fully deteriorated, livestock was taken to the more remote, relatively rich wildlife ranges. Human activity reached these new areas and wildlife was driven out. Under the pressure of competition with livestock and habitat deterioration, the numbers of big game animals continued to drop. In the absence of a scientific land-use policy, destruction of wildlife habitats continued. Trees were cut down in the arid zone to prepare for cultivation and to meet the ever-increasing demand for firewood.

Recently vast areas of wildlife habitat have given way to cultivation in the Blue Nile and Kassala Provinces. In the process of the expansion of agriculture, the needs of the wildlife, livestock range, and forestry were not taken into account.

Government agencies involved in land utilization operated independently. In the west, water wells were drilled without the advice of the Range Department and the wells were distributed with no consideration to the range condition. The result was that some areas near water were effectively over-grazed while vast areas with no wells were left untouched.

The absence of a land-use policy and the lack of coordination were most evidently encountered in the Dinder area, as discussed earlier. The situation forced the Wildlife Research Unit in 1976 to propose the formation of a Landuse Board for the Blue Nile Province. All the government agencies involved in land-use were to be represented on this board. The decision to allot land for any kind of utilization was to be taken solely by the board. The idea was that similar boards would be formed in all other provinces in due course.

Finally this would lead to the formation of a national board for land-use planning. To enable such a board to plan for landuse on a national scale, an evaluation of the natural resources of the country is essential. A land inventory that covers soil, topography, climate, vegetation, animal wealth, and relevant socio-economic factors must be carried out. The modern technique of remote sensing based on satellite imagery will render this task much easier and less expensive than before. Then the board will be in a position to allot land for proper utilization consistent with the maximum sustained yield. Wherever possible the concept of multiple use should be considered. This method of utilization was proposed by Dasmann (1972) for the wetseason habitat of big game adjacent to Dinder National Park. This arrangement will certainly need the highest standard of co-operation between the agencies involved.

The Role of Wildlife Research

With no or little data on wildlife available, the main objective of research will be to collect base-line data. First of all, we need to know what animal species are present and the size of the populations. The type of habitat these populations use and its status are also essential data. Detailed study of these populations and their habitats must certainly follow. There is a need to study the rate of growth of these populations and their feeding habits and behaviour. It is equally important to study the components of the habitat, its level of use and ecological trend. With the general deterioration of habitats in the arid zone the latter two points are of special significance.

Research is then expected to proceed to draw sound management plans detailing how best to conserve these populations. With wildlife as an integral part of the eco-system and playing an important role in its stability, wildlife research is only part of the overall effort to restore and maintain ecological balance in the arid zone.

The need to draw management plans for specific animal species is now evident. This is certainly the case with the acutely endangered oryx and addax in Northern Darfur Province, a role now far beyond the facilities of the Research Unit. We need to study their food habits and behaviour, to explore their habitats intensively, to trace the origin of their problems, and to engineer management plans to conserve these valuable animals.

In this country where little importance is attached to wildlife, a research effort to expose and preach the economic value of wildlife in the fields of tourism and animal protein production is needed, because at present and for some time to come senior officials will always allot funds to different agencies with their eyes on returns.

Present Status of Wildlife Research

The Wildlife Research Unit was first established in 1968, but it only became effective in the mid-seventies. It has since been kept busy carrying out general surveys in wildlife areas and collecting base-line data. This kind of work has made good progress in Dinder National Park and in the Radom area in southwestern Southern Darfur.

Acute shortage of funds left the unit with no effective transportation, a necessity for work in remote areas. The unit is still too low in personnel to meet the volume of work at hand. Being handicapped both in facilities and personnel, it is far from effectively carrying out its responsibilities or satisfying its own ambitions. Yet with whatever is available reasonable progress is being made. Working with an equally handicapped Wildlife Administration to change some erroneous, old, and traditional management practices has taken a lot of patience and diplomacy.


The absence of well-defined guidelines for land-use in this country has created various complex problems. Overstocking in the arid zone leads to over-grazing and destruction of the ravaged range-lands. Cultivation of lands with fragile ecological equilibrium has impoverished the land. Felling of trees and bushes, together with wild fires, had led to the same results. All these malpractices opened the door for desert encroachment. Lack of co-ordination between the government agencies involved in land-use controls has multiplied the problem even further. Our lands are impoverished, agricultural production has fallen, our livestock ranges have deteriorated, and wildlife is endangered. We are a poor country, yet we have to address ourselves to these problems that are far beyond our own capabilities. With some foreign help progress can be made.

With the situation as it is, the need for a national land-use planning body cannot be over-emphasized. Co-ordination between government agencies in this field is vital and should be legislated for.

Promotion of research in the area of natural resources in general is now essential. The design of integrated research programmes in the areas of forestry, range, and wildlife is most advisable. Wildlife research as an integral part of natural resources research should be boosted and the Wildlife Research Unit should be strengthened to enable it to address itself to the great task of conserving our wildlife wealth.

Let us first work hard to stop deterioration in the arid zone. We can then proceed to restore and maintain the ecological balance in the area.


Darling, F.F. 1961. "Towards a Game Policy for the Republic of Sudan." Unpubl. report submitted to the Sudan Govt.

Dasmann, W.P. 1972. Development and Management of the Dinder National Park and Its Wildlife. UN/FAD Report No. TA 3113.

Hashim, I.M., and M.B. Nimir, 1977. "Population Trend Counts of Tiang, Waterbuck and Roan Antelope in Dinder National Park." Submitted for publication.

Holsworth, W.H. 1968. Report to the Government of the Sudan on Dinder National Park. UN/FAO Report No. TA 2457.

Lamprey, H. F. 1975. Report on the Desert Encroachment Reconnaissance, Northern Sudan. National Council for Research, Sudan.

Moore, G. 1974. Wildlife and National Parks Legislation. UN/FAD Report No. TA 330.

Sudan, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and Agricultural Research Council. 1976. Sudan's Desert Encroachment Control and Rehabilitation Programme. Khartoum.

Sudan, Wildlife Administration. 1935. Wild Animals Ordinance 1935. Khartoum.

Sudanese Environmental Conservation Society. 1978. "Seminar on the Problems of the Dinder National Park." Unpubl. report. Khartoum.

Watson. 1975. "Livestock Census in Northern Sudan." Unpubl. report submitted to the Govt. of Sudan.


Soil conservation and land reclamation in the Sudan

H.A. R. Musnad Forestry Research Institute-Soba

M.A. el-Rasheed Department of Forestry, University of Khartoum

Although more than half the area of the Sudan is arid and semi-arid, the country's economy is based on agriculture. Under such conditions, soil forms a vital resource that deserves every care. Nevertheless, soil misuse has led and will continue to lead to degradation resulting in desert creep into better areas. Practices like shifting cultivation, uncontrolled grazing, irrational use of machines on light soil, and fires are amongst the most serious factors causing soil erosion.

Agricultural expansion, both public and private, has proceeded without any conservation measures. The consequences have manifested themselves in the form of deforestation, soil desiccation, and lowering of soil fertility and the water-table. These evils gained momentum until they resulted in a drought problem, especially in the west, gully erosion in the Northern Province (Haddam) and the Kerreb lands of Kassala and the Blue Nile, and dune invasion in the western and eastern parts of the country.

Erosion by water remained unchecked in wetter areas and in areas of vulnerable soil. It had spoiled more than 50,000 ha in the el-Suki area alone (Musnad, 1975). The jagged outline of the map of the Rahad Scheme is an attempt to avoid eroded areas. The extent of such damage in the whole country remains unknown.

The literature cited between 1940 and 1975, the time of preparation of the DECARP documents, showed that a large cross-section of the officials dealing with land were well aware of the evils resulting from misuse of soils. Nevertheless, conservation measures were neglected in the majority of land-use activities. The same methods that degraded soils in Agabey and Grabeen, for example, are now being used at Um Sbnat and Habeela. These are new areas deforested for mechanized grain production. Measures such as leaving natural tree belts between farms and round natural drains were not carried out. In these areas gully erosion is now well advanced. The Khashm el-Girba Scheme emerged without adequate shelter belts and wind breaks for its crops and canals. The canals frequently silted up, resulting in severe droughts at stages which adversely affected yield. The Jabel Marra is being exploited by machines with no thought for the light volcanic type of soil or the vulnerable slopes.

Characteristics of the Problem Areas

The previous points mentioned emphasize the need for adequate conservation and reclamation efforts. To plan these efforts soundly, the characteristics of each problem area must be taken into consideration. Each problem area is part of an eco-system composed of soil, water, vegetation, man, animals, and climate. Conservation and reclamation measures will try to influence some or all of these components for the perpetual benefits of man (Musnad, 1970).

At present, data are available on soil type, vegetation, and climatic conditions as well as on the distribution of human and animal populations. Modern aerial photography coupled with satellite imagery constitutes a powerful means of overviewing the problem areas.

Patterns of Soil and Vegetation Misuse

Over-cutting and over-grazing

These activities are quite evident near settlements, where trees and shrubs are widely used for fuel and buildings. The walls and roofs of houses in most of the rural areas are made of wood. These houses are always surrounded with fences made out of wood and hay. The demand for wood for such buildings is continuously increasing as renewals are necessary every two to three years, in addition to new buildings. It is not difficult to see how taxing this practice is on the resource, bearing in mind the light or sparse vegetation cover of the arid and semi-arid zones.

Areas round watering points also suffer the same degree of degradation. These are over-grazed, especially in western Sudan where bore-holes with adequate water exist with pastures of low carrying capacities.


Over-cropping took place and is taking place on clay plains as well as on sandy soils. On clay plains, mechanized agriculture has deforested, impoverished, and turned vast areas into infertile truncated soil-waste known locally as kerreb. The top layer has been washed away by water erosion and the subsoil has assumed the "basket-of-eggs" appearance that encourages maximum run-off. The hydrological behaviour of this formation facilitates further erosion of neighbouring soils and, therefore, the devastation is now self-propagating.

On the sandy soils, over-cropping resulted in shortening the rotation of gum arabic and crops. The ideal rotation for gum arable is 12 to 15 years, after which the trees are felled and annual crops of sesame, groundnuts, and pennisetum, dukhun, are grown for three to four years while the gum coppice is tended. The land will then be under gum production for at least 12 years. The present practice is limited to annual cropping with no gums or a very low stock of gum trees per unit area. This has lowered the yield of annual crops and deprived the soil of tree cover. Soil desiccation, dune movements, lowering of the water-table, burial of surface water systems by moving sands, and drought problems are further consequences of these practice


Grass fires were so common that the term "acacia-grass cycle" was used by many writers to describe the effect of fire on the ecology of clay-plains with rainfall of 50-700 mm. This is now no longer restricted to the Acacia-Graminae community of the clay-plains. Fires now occur all over the country south of latitude 12°N. This is most evident from midSeptember until January. The effects of these fires on the ecosystem and especially on the cycle of nutrients deserve to be studied. The amount of fodder materials that turns into ash can be visualized as equivalent to the loss of tons of meat. The effects of fires on wildlife, plant communities and soilwater relations are also worthy of study.

Present Magnitude of the Problem

First of all, there is appreciable sand dune movement in the arid and semi-arid parts of the country, where wind erosion is a real problem. This buries fertile soil, irrigation canals, roads, railway lines, buildings, seasonal water courses and even river channels. These difficulties are very pronounced in the Northern, Nile, Northern Kordofan, Northern Dafur, White Nile, Khartoum, and Gezira Provinces.

There is severe gully erosion on the clay plains and main river banks. The two words kerreb and haddam are used locally to describe this type of soil degradation.

The wind storms (hababai) of eastern Sudan constitute a special problem. Winds blowing at more than 12 kph over a special type of sandy loam soil cause haasbai. This is a problem of soil management in the first place and of lack of shelter-belts to reduce the wind energy in the second place. To facilitate flood irrigation, the soil must be flat and free from any obstruction to water movement. Crop residue is, therefore, removed after harvest and the soil is left bare to be blown away by wind.

Other problem areas are the saline soils near the Red Sea shore and the partially flooded areas. These are totally neglected in some parts and under-used in others.

Consequences of These Problems

Evident consequences of land degradation problems can be described as follows:

(a) Reduction in yield especially of food crops, which has brought other difficulties such as social problems of migration to towns, semi-nomadic life, and occupational change.
(b) Land hunger, because large areas of relatively poor soils are cultivated to get the same yield that could have been obtained from a smaller area of fertile soil. Pasture productivity has also dropped to the degree that carrying capacity has been reduced through invasion of degraded lands by unpalatable plants or by plants with low nutritive value.

The drop in yield and land hunger need to be seen against the relatively high rate of increase of human and animal populations in the country

Present Research Efforts

Completed and current research projects

Research work in Khartoum Province was concentrated on soil moisture conservation for plant growth in the arid climate of northern Sudan. This work was carried out between 1969 and 1971. It involved protection of vegetation from animals and soil-working to improve the water relations of the soil profile. The method proved also very successful for annual grasses and herbs. The tree species used were Tamarix aphylla and Prosopis chilensis. These were introduced into the area together with the locally available Acacia tortilis (Musnad, 1971).

In the Nile Province mesquite (Prosopis chilensis) and Eucalyptus spp. were used as external belts for the protection of crops and irrigation canals. This work is now supported by funds from the Sudanese Council of Churches. With this same support, internal protective belts are also going to be established, especially in new irrigation schemes like Kelley and Gandatu.

A land reclamation research project was started in Northern Province in 1973. It received financial support for the period 1975-1980 from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. This project attempts to identify the most effective type of shelter-belts needed for protection of land and crops against sand creep in the Nubian Desert. This will make more arable land available for a local population suffering from land hunger. Arable lands in this province are restricted to small strips along the banks of the Nile. These lands are, in addition, suffering from erosion on the river side and burial by sterile sand from the desert side. This project further includes a training scheme at the master's level for four young graduates (Musnad, 1977).

In Northern Kordofan a very successful experiment on sand dune fixation was carried out at el-Bashri, north of el-Obeid. The success of the experiment encouraged different institutions interested in this type of work to visit the area. The experimental site shows a clear contrast between well established flora and bare moving dunes which are not protected and planted.

Proposed research projects

The programmes of research prepared by the Arid Zone and Gum Research Divisions of the Forestry Research Institute embrace most of the methods necessary for conservation and reclamation of soil and vegetation. These are long-term programmes that need trained manpower, funds, and equipment.

The IDRC is supporting a research project on Prosopis. This research is being carried out in the White Nile Province (elSheikh and el-Siddig), where rainfall is less than 200 mm, in Northern Kordofan (Hamarat el-Wiz and el-Bashri), where rainfall is more than 200 mm, and at el-Obeid, where rainfall is about 300-320 mm. About 30 eco-types and species of Prosopis are being tried in order to arrive at the most successful, easily established and useful eco-types. This research is being conducted in collaboration with the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Khartoum. The faculty's work is concerned with the fodder value of Prosopis pods for goats and other animals. Many eco-types of Prosopis have the unique characteristic that their green parts are unpalatable to goats and other domestic animals. The ripe pods, on the other hand, contain high percentages of protein and sugar and are generally said to be of high nutritive value. Prosopis timber also has a high calorific value as fuel.

The research project aims at providing fodder and fuel wood and protecting the soil against wind and water erosion. The research methods suggested will attempt to investigate unconventional techniques to propagate Prosopis so that large portions of arid and semi-arid tracts could become covered in a short period. The project also contains a training component where one veterinary science graduate will be trained at the master's degree level while two others will study plant ecology and plant establishment in arid habitats. The three graduates will later be appointed as research workers in the Arid Zone Research Division so as to strengthen the term working on arid lands problems.

Future Requirements

Research, training, adequate funds and facilities, and extension are prerequisites for effective arid lands management. Research is needed to identify the cheapest and most practical methods of maintaining the soil in its most productive state. Training is required for furnishing research with the type of skills that can cope with the problems involved. A good part of this training needs to be undertaken on the site of such problem areas. Classroom courses can give trainees a broad view of all environmental factors, their interactions, and how they affect the resource as well as the socioeconomic life of the inhabitants.

It seems inappropriate to give here a list of all the subjects to be covered but it might be beneficial to list some of the most relevant and important ones. They include resource mapping; ecological studies, especially of the tolerance of plants to drought and salinity; phytodynamic studies covering areas such as intensity of grazing and effect of fires; crop rotations; mechanized farming methods; proportion of annual to perennial Graminae; ability of leguminous species to regenerate; and characteristics of various types of vegetation in relation to fodder production and soil protection (Dixey and Aubert, 1962).

Studies should further concentrate on integrated resourceuse with respect to crops, pastures, forests, wildlife, soil, and water. On the social side there is a need for courses on nomadism, animal migration routes and size of herds, and farming methods. Biochemical studies on the nutritive value of the main native fodder plants and of introduced plants are required. Such studies may include plant exudates (gums, resins), tannins, and other extracts.

The necessity for adequate funds for research work does not need elaboration. It is unfortunate that the majority of those who approve budgets are graduates in the humanities and are not conversant with the needs and benefits of scientific research.

In these problem areas, the most urgent requirements are means of transportation and accommodation. In addition to problems of funds for equipment, there is also the difficulty of getting the wanted items at the right time. Both foreign exchange problems and lengthy routine procedures add to other difficulties encountered.

Benefits of Successful Techniques to Other Countries

Techniques that prove to be successful in the Sudan will no doubt be of use elsewhere. The Sahelian countries, for example, are experiencing largely the same problems of land degradation. Many of these areas have similar climate and biological circumstances with respect to over-cutting, overgrazing and over-cropping. Therefore, any conservation measures found successful in the Sudan can be adopted by these countries without loss of time or extra expenditure on research. Economic crops introduced and found successful in the Sudan can be introduced in these countries without going into elimination trials. The Sudan can also become a source of seeds for such crops needed for conservation or production.


Dixey, F., and G. Aubert. 1962. "Arid Zone Research in the Sudan." Arid Zone, No. 16 (June 1962), pp. 5-16. Unesco, Paris.
Musnad, H.A. 1970. "Forests as a Means of Utilising Marginal Lands in the Sudan." Paper read at the First Conference of Arab Agriculturalists.
-.1971. "Soil Moisture Conservation for Plant Growth in the Arid Climate of Northern Sudan." M.Sc. thesis, University of Khartoum.
-.1975. "Soil Conservation and Land Use in the Sudan." Sudan Silva, 3, pp. 34-38.
-.1977. "Land Reclamation in Kerma Basin." Sudan Silva, 3, pp. 69-78


Effect of soil salinity on the productivity of arid lands, with special reference to the Sudan

Mohamed O.H. el-Karouri National Council for Research, Khartoum

The increasing demand for food and other agricultural products makes the conservation and optimal utilization of soil resources increasingly imperative. This is more so in arid regions, which have narrow resource margins.

Saline soils are a widespread element of the landscapes of arid zones and soil salinization is one of the main processes responsible for the degradation and reduced productivity of agricultural lands in these regions.

Soil salinity may affect the productivity of agricultural land directly as a consequence of the presence of critical amounts of soluble salts in the root zone, which limit water and nutrient uptake by plants and cause physiological and metabolic disorders. Indirectly, salts may affect plants through adverse soil properties caused by sodicity and alkalinity imposed on the soil by soluble salts which may or may not be present in amounts detrimental to plants. The adverse effects of sodicity and alkalinity may be of both a chemical and a physical nature.

Many factors influence the effect of salinity on plant growth. Some of these are the composition of the salts, the moisture regime of the soil, its nutrient status, and the physical composition of the soil profile, as well as the plant species, including its rooting habit, age, and tolerance both to total salt content and to specific salts in the soil solution. Soil and cropmanagement practices also modify the effects of soil salinity.

It is estimated that more than 50 per cent of the irrigated lands in arid and semi-arid regions of the world are affected to some degree by salinization and that millions of hectares of agricultural land have been abandoned because of salinity hazards.

Besides soils already affected by salinity there are large areas which are potentially vulnerable and which could easily be damaged by salinization through irrigation. With few exceptions, wherever and whenever crops are irrigated in arid regions, salinity is a potential, if not an actual, problem.

A classic example where salinization has caused severe damage to agricultural land is that of Mesopotamia, where a once-fertile land has been transformed into a salt-caked waste. The soil that supported "the gardens of Babylon has come grudgingly to grant no more than an irregular crop of salttolerant barley." A recent example of impending disaster resulting from introducing irrigated agriculture to an arid region, if remedial measures are not taken, is that of the West Nubarya area in Egypt. According to Schultz and de Ridder (1974), this region is experiencing a rising watertable which has resulted in waterlogging, secondary salinization and influent seepage of saline groundwater into irrigation canals. The percolation of irrigation water through soils in fields with high salinity characteristics has raised the salt content as well as the water level of the groundwater.

Similarly, it was reported that in the Jhelum River plains in Pakistan the productivity of the agricultural lands of that region have declined because of salinity and waterlogging caused by the rising water table as a result of improper planning of the irrigation system (UNCOD, 1977).

Salinity Problems in the Sudan

In the Sudan, with the rapid expansion of irrigated agriculture, the question of soil salinity is becoming more and more urgent, not only for putting naturally salt-affected lands under cultivation, but also for maintaining the productivity of existing irrigated areas.

The Sudan lies wholly within the tropics, between latitudes 3° N and 22°N. Ecological conditions vary considerably from the desert in the north to the arid and semi-arid savanna areas of central Sudan and to the sub-humid areas of the southern provinces.

At present, the total area of irrigated land in the Sudan comprises about 1.6 million ha but there are several new irrigation projects under construction. These could increase the total irrigated area to perhaps 4 million ha. Thus in the near future problems of soil salinity are likely to be encountered on a larger scale.


Work on soil salinity in the Sudan may be traced back to the turn of the century,when it was established by the early work of Beam (1911) that there were potential salinity and alkalinity hazards associated with the Gezira Scheme. Many workers expressed concern about the possible deterioration of the soils of the Gezira, the first and largest irrigation enterprise in the Sudan, when it was put under irrigation. Vageler and Alten (1932) and Balls (1935) advocated the installation of a sub-soil drainage system if the rapid deterioration of the Gezira soils was to be avoided. Greene and Snow (1939), on the other hand, opposed this view because of the poor permeability of the soil and the restricted lateral movement of water, which are prerequisites for an efficient drainage system. However, because of the highquality irrigation water with its low salt content (less than 200 ppm) and high Ca:Na ratio, as well as inclusion of long fallows in the rotation during which salts moving to the surface can be washed down by rains, in addition to the growing of salt-tolerant crops such as cotton, no visible signs of soil deterioration have been observed in the Gezira Scheme.

Although no signs of soil deterioration were detected, efforts were directed towards improving the inherent properties of the Gezira soils, particularly soil permeability. Greene and Snow (1939) pioneered the use of gypsum in reclaiming Gezira sodic soils, but found that teaching following gypsum application was insufficient to effect any profound change in soil productivity. Their attempts at using sodium accumulators (A triplex spp.) also failed significantly to lower sodium levels in the soil, quite apart from its depletion of plant nutrients, particularly nitrogen.

The Gezira vertisols are similar to the regurs of India, the black cotton soils of USA, and the grumusols or self-mulching soils elsewhere. However, the problems relating to poor infiltration and internal drainage appear to be more severe in Gezira soils, which may account for their resistance to improvement.

Northern Sudan

Unlike central Sudan and the Gezira area, the soils of northern Sudan are affected to a greater degree by soil salinity, particularly from Khartoum northwards along both banks of the Nile. The area affected by salinity in the Sudan can only be estimated, since few systematic surveys have been made. However, the areas which are potentially irrigable but where salinity is the main limiting factor for its development cover more than 200,000 ha.

In view of the large population and the relatively limited amount of good arable land in northern Sudan, there is an urgent need, particularly in the two northern provinces, to develop marginal lands which are often salt-affected.

The soils of the two northern provinces are derived largely from the alluvial deposits of the Nile mixed with some nonalluvial sands from the Nubian Sandstone. The soils are divided into two main groups, namely soils of the Recent Flood Plain and soils of the High Terraces. Solls of the Recent Flood Plain, which are a mixture of entisols and vertisols, include the Gerif and Gureir (local names) and the basin soils.

The Gerif soils are distributed along both banks of the Nile and contain high amounts of silt of fairly recent origin. Crops are grown without resort to irrigation, after subsidence of the annual flood. The moisture-release curve of these soils indicates that plants could utilize most of the moisture in the profile (Drover,1966).

The Gureir soils, which occur near the river bank and adjacent to the Gerif soils, are subject to flooding by moderately high flows. They are similar to Gerif soils in many aspects, but have a finer texture. They are rich free-working alluvial loams and, when irrigated, are one of the most productive soils in the Sudan.

The soils of the basins are alluvial deposits which vary greatly in age and nature. It is believed that the basins are the remains of former channels of the Nile. They are flooded only at very high flood stages. Basin soils are characterized by a high clay content, low salinity, and occasionally by high sodicity.

Most of the soils of the Recent Flood Plain, particularly the Gerif and Gureir soils, are fully exploited for agricultural production, and any envisaged agricultural development in the two northern provinces will depend mainly on the utilization of High Terrace soils. Besides some of the topographic and physical drawbacks, the main factors limiting the development of High Terrace soils are salinity and sodicity.

High Terrace soils occur on the landward side of the Recent Flood Plain. They could be classed as aridisols which have a weak structure and a texture which varies from sandy loams to sandy clays. A survey report (Huntings, 1964) and inspection of the data presented in Table 1, which was extracted from the work of Karouri (1967), demonstrates that considerable variation in salt content and composition exists, not only between different sites but also with depth, reflecting the diversity of parent materials within any one profile. Electric conductivity (EC) and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) values range between 0.2 and 49.5 mmhos/cm and between 1 and 100 respectively. Sodium is by far the dominant cation, and the dominant anions are chloride and sulphate. Therefore, the main salts are generally sodium sulphate or sodium chloride.
Little information is available on the reclamation of High Terrace soils. However, experience at the Gezira and the work of Karouri and Kaufmann (1966) have revealed that fine-textured soils are difficult to reclaim. On the other hand, it is expected that light-textured High Terrace soils can be reclaimed fairly easily. Preliminary investigations pertaining to the use of gypsum as an ameliorant on lighttextured High Terrace soils have indicated its effectiveness in improving the permeability of these soils (Karouri, 1968). Tahir and Fadl (1976) compared EC and ESP from two sites of High Terrace soils, one from virgin land and the other from a plot cultivated and irrigated from a surface well. Table 2 shows the effect of irrigation on leaching the salts and reducing the level of exchangeable sodium.

One cannot, however, overlook the importance of carrying out more intensified studies and pilot projects before embarking on large-scale project developments.

The area south of Khartoum

Similarly the area south of Khartoum between the Blue and the White Nile and extending as far south as the northwest boundary of the Gezira Scheme is predominantly saline and/or sodic. The total area is estimated at 81,000 ha. Due to salinity problems this area has never been utilized agriculturally in any form except for a short-lived animal fattening scheme which was established in an area of 4,000 ha, but low productivity of the land was one of the factors that contributed to its failure.

However, because of high-quality irrigation water from the two Niles, good roads which connect the area with Khartoum throughout the year, and availability of health and electric services, the area has recently gained importance for growing high-value crops for local consumption and for export.

Two semi-detailed soil and land classification studies were undertaken on the area by Huntings (1964) and the Soil Survey Division (Tom,1973). The Soil Survey Division has upgraded Huntings'Class Vl soils to Class IV following a reassessment of land capability classification in the Sudan. Nonetheless, the two studies were in agreement that most of the area is unsuitable for development and that the two limitations of these soils are salinity and sodicity.

The area south of Khartoum is generally flat. The soils are of alluvial origin laid down by the Blue Nile and are derived from the basaltic rocks of the Ethiopian Highlands. According to the Soil Survey report, three soil orders were identified: namely, vertisols, aridisols, and entisols; but the bulk of the soils are entisols. Associated with the three orders are four main soil types. These are:

Esailat Sodic Series. These constitute about 46 per cent of the surveyed area. The clay content is variable, ranging from 13 to 51 per cent. The soil matrix is calcareous throughout. In the top layer salinity is light to moderate and electric conductivity ranges from 0.5 to 6 mmhos/cm. The subsoil is more affected by salinity, and EC ranges from 4 to 30 mmhos/cm. Similarly, ESP varies with depth and ranges from 8 to 71, with the lower values being associated with the surface horizons.

TABLE 1. Chemical Analyses of Saturation Extract

(cm )
Soluble cations and anions meq/l ESP
Na K Ca Mg Cl SO4 HCO3
1 0 - 30 8.0 0.8 7.7 0.1 0.9 0.6 3.9 3.0 1.4 11.0
30 - 60 8.1 1.3 12.8 0.1 0.8 0.2 5.8 3.5 0.5 20.0
60 - 90 8.1 5.4 63.5 0.4 4.0 2.3 52.0 12.0 4.1 34.0
90 - 120 8.2 4.5 48.0 0.2 3.1 0.9 28.0 21.0 2.5 33.0
2 0 - 30 7.6 18.5 56.0 1.6 156.0 1 2.0 57.0 150.0 1.1 7.2
30 - 60 7.5 20.1 51.0 0.5 175.0 1.0 64.0 160.0 0.8 6.3
60 - 90 7.5 10.6 42.0 0.2 68.0 4.0 40.0 75.0 1.0 8.4
90 - 120 7.6 7.3 35.0 0.2 35.0 0.2 28.5 32.0 1.3 11.9
3 0 - 30 8.1 0.9 15.0 0.3 2.8 0.7 0.7 8.6 2.2 14.0
30 - 60 8.1 1.4 13.0 0.1 0.8 0.2 0.4 7.6 4.2 17.5
60 - 90 7.9 5.4 39.0 0.1 2.0 0.6 2.0 60.0 1.4 12.8
90 - 120 7.5 17.6 80.0 0.3 9.0 82.0 95.0 95.0 1.2 11.9

TABLE 2. EC and ESP of Virgin and Cultivated Plots

depth (cm)
EC mmhos/cm ESP
Virgin Cultivated Virgin Cultivated
0-30 27.0 3.0 62 2
30 - 60 18.5 6.0 28 12
60 - 90 5.9 3.5 12 10

Eilafun Series. This is a brown clayey soil that forms deep cracks when dry, and surface cracks are common but often covered with a thick surface mulch. Clay content varies from 25 to 61 per cent. The occurrence of soluble salts and exchangeable sodium is rather variable. EC ranges from 0.5 to 17 mmhos/cm, and the ESP from 4 to 42. Both EC and ESP are generally lower in the upper layers, but are present in moderate to high amounts lower down.

Gureir Series. This has a loamy texture, with the clay content ranging from 15 to 39 per cent. Excess amounts of exchangeable sodium are contained in the lower horizons. Soluble salts content is low at the top of the profile but is moderate to high at greater depths. EC ranges from 1 to 16 mmhos/cm, and ESP from 15 to 43.

Bageir Series.This has a light texture, with a clay content that ranges from 9 to 36 per cent. Generally it is non-saline but sodic. EC ranges from 0.5 to 6 mmhos/cm and ESP from 11 to 68. The lower values are those of the surface horizons.

The chemical analyses of four profiles representative of the four soil types (Tables 3 - 6) show the magnitude of salinity and sodicity in the area.

Recently the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources in the Sudan has recognized the need for applied research in the field of soil salinity in order to permit the development of the area south of Khartoum. Thus the Soba Research Station for soil salinity studies was established.

The programme of work at this station covers a wide range of research pertaining to the field of saline and sodic soils reclamation, such as the assessment of leaching and drainage requirements, water needs of crops, use of organic and chemical ameliorants, establishment of a salt-tolerance index, economics of reclamation and management, etc.

Although only a short time has elapsed since the establishment of Soba Research Station in 1974, some useful findings have been made. In a four-year experiment chemical and organic ameliorants were compared using wheat, maize, fodder sorghum, beans, and broad-beans as indicator crops. Resulting crop Yield indicated the superiority of farmyard manure to gypsum and green manure (Karouri, 1977). Although gypsum improved the soil physical properties (increased hydraulic conductivity and reduced mechanical resistance and crust strength) and increased seedling emergence, it did not result in any substantial increase in crop yield.

In a series of experiments more than 25 crops were screened for salinity tolerance under field conditions. The yields of these crops were found to range from 20 to 70 per cent of the normal productivity of nomsaline soils in the region (Karouri, 1977). The magnitude of the reduction in yield depended on the type of crop and its level of tolerance to salts. The crops that gave fairly moderate yields were beetroot, radishes, cucumbers, onions, fodder sorghum, alfalfa, sunflowers, safflower, soybeans, etc. On the other hand, peas, beans, broad beans, lentils, lupine, watermelons and jojoba performed rather poorly.

Cultural practices and management could modify to a great extent the performance of crops grown on saline soils. It has been found that planting on ridges or beds increases seedling emergence and plant populations significantly, particularly in areas where crust formation is a him drance to seedling emergence.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Although salinity problems have long been identified in the Sudan, research in this field was neglected, sporadic and unpromising and consequently many practical problems still remain unanswered. This was attributed to the abundance of good arable land and the lack of severe salt problems in irrigated schemes. However, since the trend is towards intensively irrigated agriculture and utilization of marginal lands which are often salt-affected, there is a pressing need for a more concerted effort in the field of reclamation of saline and sodic soils, particularly in northern Sudan.

In order to maintain successful agriculture in the present irrigation schemes such as the Gezira, which contain some salts though not enough to take them out of production, and in order to prevent waste and failure in the development of newly reclaimed projects, more exact and detailed information is required on the physical and chemical properties of the soils, the effect of salts on plant growth, and on the quality of irrigation water particularly if underground water is to be used, as expected in the Wadi el-Khawi Scheme in the Dongola area.

The Institute of Environmental Studies could play a leading role in this field through co-operation with existing national institutes such as the Agricultural Research Corporation and the National Council for Research, which are also engaged in salinity studies. The role of the institute should not be to create a new infrastructure but to strengthen and mobilize existing efforts by co-operating and supplementing on-going work. Thus the available national expertise and facilities, which are rather limited, could be fully utilized and duplication of effort avoided.

The research programme to be pursued should be development-oriented and closely associated with national development strategies and social goals.

TABLE 3. Chemical Analyses of Esailat Series

Depth (cm) pH paste EC mm hos/cm CEC meq/100g

Exch. cations meg/100g

Soluble ions meg/l sat. extract

  Na K Ca Mg Na K Ca Mg Cl SO4 HCO3 CO3  
0 - 35 8.9 2.9 38 22 0.8   28   0.9 0.3 11.3   3.0 0.6 56.3
35 - 90 8.5 5.1 50 22 0.9 61   4.0 0.9 16.4   2.0 0.4 43.1
90 - 120 8.8 3.2 38 20 0.7 33   2.0 0.5 12.8   2.2 0.5 51.6

TABLE 4. Chemical Analyses of Eilafun Series

Depth (cm) pH paste EC mm hos/cm CEC meq/100g

Exch. cations meg/100g

Soluble ions meg/l sat. extract

  Na K Ca Mg Na K Ca Mg Cl SO4 HCO3 CO3  
0 - 5 8.6 0.6 54 8.0 1.2   7.4   0.4 0.4 1.1   2.5 1.0 15.6
5 - 45 8.6 0.8 57 14.0 1.1   9.0   0.8 0.2 2.1   1.9 1.3 24.5
45 - 65 8.3 6.7 56 16.0 1.0   75.4   14.2 7.1 24.0   0.8 0.5 28.2
65 - 105 8.0 7.4 43 14.0 1.0   80.0   29.8 1.9 27.2   0.7 0.0 32.3
105 - 135 8.0 5.8 43 12.8 0.9   61.0   9.4 4.9 24.7   0.6 0.5 30.0

TABLE 5. Chemical Analyses of Gureir Series

Depth (cm) pH paste EC mm hos/cm CEC meq/100g

Exch. cations meg/100g

Soluble ions meg/l sat. extract

  Na K Ca Mg Na K Ca Mg Cl SO4 HCO3 CO3  
0 - 15 8.7 1.2 34 5.0 0.6   10.0   0.8 0.4 1.9   1.3 1.4 14.7
15 - 35 8.3 16.3 34 13.5 0.4   136.0   21.4 5.5 26.5   0.9 0.5 40.0
35 - 60 8.5 8.2 35 15.0 0.3   87.2   9.6 2.9 72.8   0.5 0.6 43.0
60 - 90 8.5 6.5 27 8.3 0.3   68.0   5.9 1.3 55.6   0.7 0.6 30.7
90 - 120 8.7 3.4 14 4.3 0.2   33.0   1.6 1.6 30.0   0.6 0.6 30.7

TABLE 6. Chemical Analyses of Bageir Series

Depth (cm) pH paste EC mm hos/cm CEC meq/100g

Exch. cations meg/100g

Soluble ions meg/l sat. extract

  Na K Ca Mg Na K Ca Mg Cl SO4 HCO3 CO3  
0 - 5 8.4 0.6 19 2.1 0.6   6.0   1.0 0.4 1.2   3.0 0.5 11.0
5 - 20 9.0 1.4 43 24.0 0.9   14.0   1.3 0.3 3.4   4.0 1.2 56.0
20 - 55 8.6 5.7 36 24.3 0.8   71.2   3.3 0.4 8.6   2.4 0.8 67.5
55 - 95 8.7 2.8 29 19.0 0.5   28.0   1.6 0.8 7.0   2.0 0.9 65.5
  9.0 2.3 9 11.5 0.4   30.0   0.7 0.3 5.9   2.5 1.3 128.0

The following objectives could serve as a guide in developing the research programme at the institute:

(a) study of the effect of salts on soil physical and chemical properties;
(b) study of the response of crops to the naturally occurring salts and the formulation of a salt-tolerance index for most of the economically important crops;
(c) determination of the leaching requirements in order to avoid harmful salt concentrations;
(d) exploration of the possibilities and limitations of the installation of an efficient drainage system;
(e) determination of the efficiency of various ameliorants for the improvement of sodic soil; and
(f) study of the economics of reclamation and management of saline and sodic soils.

Training is as important as research. The Sudan has an inadequate number of scientists and middle-level technicians in the various disciplines concerned with reclamation, improvement, and management of salt-affected soils. Since research is problem-oriented, students studying for the institute's diploma could do part of their training at the experimental stations, particularly at Soba and Hudeiba-the two main national institutes engaged in soil salinity work. Equally important is the training of middle-level staff who operate at the interface between research and the realities of field practice. Through instructional courses, in-service training, field demonstrations, and study tours, the institute could help create and strengthen such staff.

The training programme could serve as a meeting place of technology and field practices, where concepts, ideas, innovations, and research findings could be exchanged and harmonized with practical realities.


Balls, W.L. 1935. "Drainage in the Sudan Gezira." Emp. Cott:. Gr. Rev, 12, pp. 32-37.

Beam, W. 1911. "Soils of the Gezira: A Preliminary Note." Cairo Scient. J., 5, pp. 181-89.

Drover, D.D. 1966. "Moisture Retention in Some Soils of the Sudan." African Soils, 11, pp. 483-87.

Greene, H., and O.W. Snow, 1939. "Soil Improvement in the Sudan Gezira." J. Agric Sci., 29, pp. 1-34.

Huntings Technical Services, 1964. "Roseres Soil Survey," Report No. 5, Min. of Agric., Sudan.

Karouri, M.O.H. el-. 1967. "Annual Report of the Research Division," Min. of Agric., Sudan.
-. 1968. "Annual Report of the Research Division," Min. of Agric., Sudan.
-. 1977. "Annual Report: Soba Research Station," Agric. Research Corp., Sudan.
-, and H.J. Kaufmann, 1966. "Salinity and Alkalinity Problems in Soils of Northern Province." Proc. 10th Agric Res. Colloquim. Res. Div., Min. of Agric., Sudan.

Schultz, F.E., and N.A. de Ridder. 1974. "The Rising of Water Table of the West Nubarya Area." Nature and Resources, 10, No. 1, pp. 12 - 17.

Tahir, A., and H. Fadl, 1978. "Sahara Agricultural Company Soil Report: Land Use, Soil Conservation and Water Programme." Min. of Agric., Sudan.

Tom, O.A.1973. "Semi-Detailed Survey of South Khartoum Area and Blue Nile Provinces." Soil Survey Dept., Wad Medani, Sudan.

United Nations Conference on Desertification (UNCOD).1977. "Case Study on Desertification: Mona Reclamation Experimental Project, Pakistan." (A/CONF. 74113)

Vageler, P.,and F. Alten, 1932. Cited by F Crowther in J.D. Tothill, ea., Agriculture in Sudan, 1952.


Nomads and their sedentarization in the Sudan

Mustafa Mohamed Khogali
Department of Geography, University of Khartoum

The growth of nomadism in the Sudan goes back to a period before the birth of Christ. Nomadism was practiced long ago by the Beja tribes of the Red Sea and the people of the Butana region during Merotic times (ca. 540 B.C.-A.D. 350) (All, 1972), but it is believed that nomadism spread to many parts of the Sudan after the tenth century A.D., when the Arabs began to enter the Sudan in large numbers.

Now nomadism occupies an important place in the cultural and economic life of the Sudan for the following reasons:
(a) The number of nomads in the Sudan is large, although the exact figure is not known. According to the population census of 1973, the total number of nomads was about 1.6 million, or about 11 per cent of the total population. The total number of nomads in 1955/56 was about 1.4 million, which constituted about 14 per cent of the total population of the country. However, it is generally believed that the nomads of the Sudan were under-enumerated in both the 1955/56 and the 1973 censuses (Henne in, 1966).
(b) The nomads utilize about 850,000 km² (one third of the total area of the country) in both the semi-desert and savanna zones.
(c) The nomads own the majority of the animal wealth of the country, estimated at 40 million animal units in 1974. (Although the official estimate of the nomads' animal wealth is only 21 million animal units, it is based on tax-list figures and is thought to be far below the actual number.) From these the nomads supply almost all the beef and mutton needs for internal consumption, in addition to producing a surplus for export.

The Distribution of Nomads in the Sudan

The central belt of the Sudan, mostly semi-arid and savanna, is the home of the Sudanese nomads. However, the nomads do not form a majority of the population except in some areas. Table 1 shows the distribution of the nomads by provinces.

The distribution of the nomads correlates with a number of human and physical factors. The cultural heritage of nomadism is a very important factor in the continuation of nomadism. As a rule the Negroid population is settled, whilst nomadism is practiced by Arab and Hamitic groups. Nomadism is still a fascinating way of life for them, and it is the kind of life they know best.

Nomadism also has some important physical bases, of which scarcity of water during the dry season is the main one. Rainfall in the Sudan is seasonal and decreases in amount from 800 mm in the southern parts of the central Sudan to 75 mm in the northern edge of the semi-arid zone. But rain-fed cultivation in the tropical areas needs at least 250 mm a year. Thus the semi-desert, with less than 250 mm a year, cannot be cultivated unless irrigation is used, and this is possible only in areas near the Nile.

The semi-arid zone, however, has good grazing potential, and the nomads use their mobility to raise a large number of livestock, mainly camels (thus the name Abbala) and sheep.

With the onset of the dry season the nomads retreat to their dammering centres where they have some wells and hafirs (man-made depressions) that supply water for most or all of the year. There they camp, and the households remain in the vicinity of the watering points. The livestock are taken away to graze under the supervision of the young and male members of the households. By the end of the dry season all the pastures, even distant ones, are eaten out, and the nomads wait for rain to relieve them.

When rain falls the nomads move away from the dammering centres towards the desert to utilize the pasture of the more marginal areas while rainwater collects in the natural pools.

TABLE 1. The Number of Nomads in the Sudan by Provinces, 1955/56 and 1973

  1955/56 (1,000s) 1973 (1,000s)
Sudan 1,405 1,631
Blue Nile 124 249
Bahr el-Ghazal - -
Darfur 266 412
Equatoria - -
Kassala 502 416
Khartoum 53 55
Kordofan 393 406
Northern 67 93
Upper Nile    

Sources: For 1955/56 figures see Sudan, Department of Statistics, First Population Census of the Sudan. 1955/56 Figures for 1973 were kindly supplied by the Department of Statistics, Khartoum.

The grazing of the dammering centres is thus spared for use during the dry season.

The annual rainfall of the savanna belt is between 260 and 800 mm and is usually sufficient to grow some annual crops. But the dry season, November-June, is long. So, unless sources of permanent water are available, permanent settlement is not possible. The nomads with their mobility are able to use these marginal areas to raise a large number of animals, mainly cattle (hence the name Baggara) and sheep.

During the dry season the Baggara are found in their dry season grazing areas near Bahr cl-Arab, Bahr el-Ghazal, the Sobat River, and the Machar Marshes. From the pools in these water-courses as well as from shallow wells the nomads get the water they need. But as the rainy season starts, the clay turns to mud and biting flies multiply and irritate the livestock. So the nomads move northwards to areas of less rainfall and to areas of sandy soils in the western Sudan. The sandy soils, however, lack some of the essential salts, and this represents a problem to the nomads. As the rainy season comes to an end, water becomes scarce and the livestock return to the permanent watering points.

Nomadism as an Economic Way of Life

The great advantage of nomadism is that it enables the nomads to use vast areas which have problems that make them either impossible or extremely difficult to be used by settled people. Thus, the nomads are able to raise large numbers of cattle, sheep, and camels (Table 2).

These animals supply the basic needs of the nomads: milk, meat, wool, hides, and skins. Some animals are sold when the need arises. Moreover, the animals have important social and, to some extent, political roles. The more animals a nomad owns the greater his social prestige and the more chance he has to rise in local politics (Cunnison, 1967).

TABLE 2. The Number of Livestock in the Sudan for Selected Years

Type 1924 1964 1974
Cattle 1,500,000 10,000,000 12,897,720
Camels 418,000 2,000,000 3,090,000
Sheep 1,966,800 10,000,000 11,484,000
Goats 1,840,000 7,000,000 8,794,000

Sources For 1924 figures see Report by His Majesty's Agent and Consul General on the Finance and Administration of the Sudan. Figures for 1964 and 1974 are estimates by the Ministries of Agriculture and Planning respectively.

Because of their interest in animals and their constant mobility, the nomads do not care much for cultivation. However, the fact is that the nomads do cultivate whenever it is possible. In the semi-arid zone rain-fed cultivation is a gamble worth taking by most of the poor and nomads of average wealth if only to reduce the risk of being forced to sell part of the animals to buy grain. In the savanna, the cultivation of both subsistence and commercial crops is not so risky and is widely practiced by the nomads.

Despite its advantages, nomadism has become a less suitable way of life in this age of advanced technology and national awareness. It is increasingly recognized that nomadism has several important disadvantages, such as extensive and destructive use of natural resources, inefficient use of human resources, and a marked inability to use social services.

The nomads use and depend on the unimproved natural resources of water and grazing, and they have, therefore, to use extensive areas so as to raise a large number of animals. The nomads cannot change to a reasonably intensive use of the available water and grazing resources because these are communally owned. If the nomads settle, there is an opportunity to conserve water, through their own efforts or those of the government, and to improve upon the natural productivity of the pastures.

The carrying capacity of the nomadic areas was originally low, contributing to the extensive use of resources, but it has been further reduced by the depletion and disappearance of some of the valuable pasture species such as siha (Blepharis spp.) as a result of overstocking. While the number of livestock has multiplied (Table 2) as a result of improvement in veterinary services and provision of water supplies, neither the area of grazing resources nor the off-take of stock has increased in comparable proportions, leading to over-grazing and destruction of the resources.

Table 3 demonstrates the degree of over-stocking in one nomadic area.

Nomadism also entails inefficiency in the use of human resources, although at first sight one gains the impression that nomadism makes full use of the labour force, since all the population, male and female, save the very young and the very old, perform some kind of economic activity. During the rainy season the nomads are engaged mainly in the supervision of the animals that depend on natural grazing and natural water pools. Such work is not demanding on the labour force, and the rainy season is, therefore, a time of leisure.

TABLE 3. Sustained-Yield Carrying Capacity and the Number of Livestock at Areas of Animal Concentration in Dar Rezeigat, 1975

Season Livestock units at
sustained pro-
duction level
Observed live
stock units
July and  
October/November 180,000 1,440,000
August-October 180,000 640,000
December 180,000 600,000
January 209,000 600,000
February-June 209,000 280,000

Source: Huntings Technical Services Ltd., Savanna Development Project, Annex 3, Table 1.5. Conversion to animal units was done by the author.

In the past, it was the dry season that was demanding on the labour force, for the nomads used to dig wells, build earth basins, draw water from the wells, and take the animals to distant areas for grazing. Some of this work is still performed by the nomads, but the introduction of mechanical pumps has greatly reduced the amount of work needed in the dry season, and a sort of disguised unemployment has thus developed.

The inability of the nomads to make use of the social services that may be offered is because of their mobility. Children do not go to school because they are on the move all the time, and also because they are needed to look after the animals. The nomads have no inhibitions about visiting hospitals but are far away from health centres most of the year. Moreover, clean water cannot be provided while the nomads are on the move, and because the nomads choose to be in the vicinity of water pools, they easily contact diseases such as malaria and bilharzia.

Mobile social services (Asad et al., 1960) may not work in the Sudan for a number of reasons, such as the great distances involved and bad roads. In addition, some services, such as the provision of clean water, cannot be offered on a mobile basis.

The Settlement of Nomads in the Sudan

It has been observed that some semi-nomads and nomads have settled spontaneously for different reasons. Some lost their animals and were forced to settle. However, this was not always permanent, and some reverted to nomadism once they rebuilt their herds.

A more permanent type of settlement was achieved as economic development schemes or social services came into being. The establishment of the Gezira Scheme in 1925 and the pump irrigation schemes on the White Nile led to the settlement of many nomads. On the other hand, the development of the Gash Scheme in 1928 had little effect on the settlement of the nomadic Beja because irrigated cotton cultivation in the Gash proved to be less profitable than the raising of animals under nomadic conditions.

Important settlement of nomads did take place in the savanna belt, especially west of the White Nile, mainly as a result of the opening of watering points, which were originally meant to shorten the distance travailed by the nomads and open new grazing areas that were not formerly used because of the shortage of water Jefferson, 1956).

However, one important result of the provision of water was that the nomads began to settle and cultivate subsistence as well as commercial crops, mainly groundnuts. Yet the type of settlement that developed is very much linked with nomadism, since the nomadic families began to split into two sections, one to look after the animals and the other to cultivate.

The result of this partial settlement was striking. Dar Rezeigat, for example, had no villages till the Second World War; but with the opening of watering points, it came to have more than ten large villages. One of them, el-Daein, even acquired the status of a town.

In the 1960s, a few years after the Sudan gained its political independence and when national awareness and aspirations for a better social and economic life were growing fast, many of the educated Sudanese thought that the nomads, being a substantial proportion of the Sudan's population, should settle. They also thought that it was the duty of the government to take the necessary steps to enable the nomads to settle (Asad et al., 1960).

Due to this feeling, the government in 1964 asked the Special Fund of the United Nations to help in the settlement of the nomads. Following this a UN Special Fund expert came to the Sudan and wrote a report suggesting the establishment of 10 settlement pilot projects in the different provinces of the Sudan with the help of the Special Fund.

These suggestions were not acted on, probably because of strong adverse criticism (Asad et al., 1960).

Nevertheless, in 1968 the Government of the Sudan came forward with the idea of establishing a number of pilot settlement ranches in the areas of Babanusa and Gerih elSarha in western Sudan. The government also developed the Khashm el-Girba Scheme in the Butana region and on Atbara River, to settle some of the Shukriya nomads.

So the Sudan entered the era of planning for the settlement, and the results are assessed below.

Assessment of settlement in the pilot ranches of western Sudan

It was originally planned to establish more than 40 ranches in the Babanusa region for the Humr, a Baggara tribe. This was thought impracticable, and eventually four pilot ranches were established. The area of each of these ranches was 100 km², and each was to accommodate 200 families who were supposed to settle, raise animals, and cultivate.

The Gerih ei-Sarha pilot ranch, with a total area of 200 km² was established for the Kababish, the largest camel-owning tribe. Fifty families were to settle, raise animals, and to cultivate whenever possible.

It is ten years since the government started these pilot ranches, but the Babanusa ranches never go off the ground, and, although the Gerih el-Sarha ranch was established and is supposed to be working, it has faced many problems, resulting in no proper settlement. The main causes of the failure of both settlements are the same, differing only in details, and are summarized below.

First, planning for the settlement of the nomads was initiated from above, and for this reason the nomads were rather suspicious of the government's intentions. In turn, the officials felt that their plans might be opposed and, therefore, resorted to tactics of divide and rule, inviting some individuals and minor sections of the tribes concerned to join the ranches to the exclusion of the others. A further cause of suspicion was that the ranches were located in areas of good communal grazing, and this meant that the nonmembers of the ranches were denied the use of such grazing lands. This created resentment and opposition to the idea of settlement.

Second, it was realized that the carrying capacity of each ranch was far below the number of animal units owned by the families to be settled [Table 4). This meant that either the nomads must reduce their animals and thus reduce their wealth, or that the excess number of animals had to graze outside the ranch boundary during part of or the whole year, and this meant a continuation of nomadism.

Assessment of settlement in Khashm el-Girba

The Khashm el-Girba Scheme (recently re-named New Halfa) was established in an area of about 200,000 ha with the main aim of resettling the Sudanese Nubians whose land had been submerged by the waters of the High Dam. It was thought that, since there was more land than needed by the Nubians, the surplus could be allotted to the nomads of the area who had traditional grazing rights in the Khashm el-Girba region. These were also requested to settle.

The nomads gladly accepted the offer. Since 1967 a total

TABLE 4. Total Carrying Capacity and Total Animal Units Owned by the Families Supposed to Settle in Gerih el-Sarha and Babanusa Pilot Ranches

Ranch Total carrying
Total animal
units owned
Girih el-Sarha 1,000 13,000
Any of Babanousa ranches 2,000 20,000

Sources: Figures for Gerih ei-Sarha were obtained by a survey done by a fact-finding committee in 1973. The figures for Babanusa have been estimated ny the author on the basis that each of the Humr family owns no less than 100 animal units.

Of about 16,000 tenancies of 6 ha each have been distributed to about 14,000 families (about 60,000 persons).

The Khashm el-Girba Scheme attracted the nomads because of two main reasons. First, in April of each year there will be very little natural grazing left in the interior of the Butana, but the season of irrigated cultivation will be over and the tenants will allow their animals to enter the fields and graze the residues of the cotton and groundnut plants. Second, after 1970 the price of groundnuts increased, and this has been sustained till the present. This rise made groundnut cultivation very tempting. However, of the three crops grown (the other two being wheat and cotton) only groundnuts interested the settled nomads.

Despite the impressive figures of 14,000 families that have been allotted tenancies, settlement in the Butana has been only partial and the Shukriya have not shown strong interest in cultivation. As the raising of animals under nomadic or transhumant conditions continues to be their main occupation, with the onset of the rainy season in July many "nomads" who own tenancies leave their cultivation to relatives or hired labourers and follow their animals to the interior of the Butana where rich green pasture awaits them.

Future Planning for me Settlement of me Nomads

Settlement of the nomads is desirable both from the national point of view and from that of many nomads. This is substantiated by the fact that in the past many of the nomads opted to settle once they realized that settlement was more beneficial to them than nomadism. Yet settlement plans in western Sudan failed, while those in Khashm el-Girba did not yield the desired results.

This contradiction can be explained by the fact that the nomads did not see eye to eye with the planners. The nomads thought that they were being turned into cultivators without animals. To them, traditional cultivation without animals gives them low income. This is also the case with irrigated cultivation in Khashm el-Girba since prices for groundnuts cannot remain high forever. Indeed, prior to 1970, when the price of groundnuts was low, the nomads showed no interest in cultivation or settlement. Furthermore, animals give better and more reliable return than cultivation where fluctuations in crop yields and prices are common.

Settlement of the nomads is also technically possible both in the savanna and in the semi-arid regions. The rainfall in the savanna is normally high enough to allow crops to grow. Furthermore in many cases it is possible to excavate hafirs (in clayey and rocky areas) or to drill boreholes that yield plentiful water to satisfy the domestic needs of a settled population.

Therefore, both cultivation and raising of animals could be combined in savanna regions.

In the semi-arid areas the annual rainfall is not sufficient to assure cultivation. Therefore rain-fed cultivation can only be one of several subsidiary activities, the main one being animal raising, but this could take place under settled conditions.

The way to achieve settlement in both the savanna and the semi-arid zones is the one that has always yielded good results, namely the provision of services and the building of an infrastructure.

Watering points, if opened in favourable areas, would shorten the distances travelled by animals and attract some of the households to settle. When schools, dispensaries, improved transport, and marketing facilities come into being, still more households will settle. However, part of the animals and some members of each household will continue to move and make use of pastures in distant waterless areas. But it should be remembered that the opening of watering points should be done on a scientific basis; otherwise overgrazing will continue at an even faster rate. It should be part of a regional plan in which all the potentialities of a region are taken into consideration.

The regional plan should also be co-ordinated into a national plan. Take population for example. The semi-arid zone away from the Nile supports only a sparse population. It is, therefore, important that the national plan should be designed to accept and even encourage emigrants from the semi-arid zone and absorb them in areas of higher potentialities. This process of spontaneous settlement through provision of services could be hastened by education and the extension of public works.

Suggested Fields of Research in the Area of the Settlement of Nomads

Research that would help in the settlement of nomads should be interdisciplinary and cover a wide variety of fields.

Water conservation and use. Productive research in this field is being done in the USA and Australia. If the water problem can be solved, more use of resources can be expected.

Crop production. Crop production can play an important role in the savanna and the semi-arid zone. But the production of such crops as dukhn and groundnuts, as practiced at present, leads to soil erosion and desertification. Research is needed to test the feasibility of growing perennial crops instead of annuals. Research is also needed to increase land productivity.

Pasture and fodder crops. No serious research has been done

I so far to restore the plant cover or re-introduce some of the valuable plant species that have disappeared from the nomadic areas. No research has been done on new plants of high nutritive value that can be grown successfully in the Sudan. One of the most important things is to investigate how to increase the carrying capacity of the nomadic lands.

Social research. Social research is needed to test the best way of spreading new knowledge and encouraging its acceptance by the nomads.

Education. Education in nomad areas should be geared towards making children understand their environment and making the best use of it without destroying it.


Ali, A.M. 1972. "Merotic Settlement of the Butana," In Ucko and Tringham, eds., Man, Settlement and Urbanism. London.

Asad, T., I. Cunnison, and A. Hill, 1960. "Settlement of the Nomads of the Sudan,' In Agricultural Development in the Sudan, pp. 102-20. Soc. Sudan.

Cunnison, I. 1967. Baggara Arabs.

Hennein, R. 1966. "A Re-estimation of the Nomadic Population of the Six Northern Provinces." Sudan Notes and Records, 46, p. 145.

Jefferson, J.H.R. 1956. Haffirs or Development by Surface Water Supplies in the Sudan, Khartoum.

Philosophical Society of the Sudan. 1962. The Effect of Nomadism on the Economic and Social Development of the People of the Sudan.


Impact of improved rural water supplies on settlement distribution in western Sudan the case of east Kordofan and el-Fasher districts

Yaqoub Abdalla Mohamed Department of Geography, University of Khartoum

Water in western Sudan as in any semi-arid environment is a scarce resource. This area is characterized by a perennial shortage of drinking water, a relatively low population density, and large areas with high agricultural and grazing potentials. Shortage of drinking water for both human and animal consumption is the main limiting factor on economic and social development there. The Sudan Government has recognized these facts and has embarked on a programme to improve rural water supplies, both in terms of quantity and quality.

Traditionally, the people of the area depended on surface water such as intermittent strearhs, natural depressions-fulas, rahads, and turas-and hand-dug wells. In recent years, technology has enabled man to make available more abundant water supplies. This additional water has provided a large resource base to support increases in human and animal populations. The search for more water has become a neverending endeavour of the Sudan Government.

Since 1918 when the first borehole was drilled in el-Obeid, the government has become more involved in the problems of rural water supplies, using modern techniques for drilling boreholes and excavating hafirs. The form of water provision differs from one region to another, due to geological structure, soils, relief, and amount of precipitation (Fig. 1)

Evaluation and assessment of the government's rural water supplies programmes has received little attention (Barbour, 1961a, 1961b; Lebon, 1965; el-Bushra, 1967). This paper attempts to highlight the effect of these programmes on population and settlement redistribution in two selected districts in western Sudan.

FIG. 1. Distribution of the Different Forms of Water Provision

The government's rural water supplies programmes are based on a number of assumptions which are not explicitly stated. The following are among them.
(1 ) In a water-deficient area with relatively high potential, provision of adequate and perennial sources of water in the right places is regarded as the single most important factor to stimulate economic and social development (Adepetu, 1971). This assumption is in line with the "improvement" approach to rural development followed in western Sudan as against the "transformation" approach followed in the Gezira and other large-scale irrigation schemes. The former policy involves the provision of small and minor services that generate and stimulate development in the surrounding areas.
(2) It is assumed that if adequate water supplies are provided in a newly opened area with adequate grazing, pastoral nomads may be tempted to change their way of life, because nomadism is seen as an adaptation to an environment which is lacking in certain basic needs, i.e. grazing and water.
(3) It is also assumed that proper utilization of agricultural land depends on water availability. Lack of water will result in a sharp decline in available labour, because some family members will be involved in fetching water. So it is implicit in this assumption that provision of water will free labour formerly used to fetch water. This can then be used in cultivation leading to an increase in production.
(4) Water provision may also help population redistribution, influence location of settlements, and control their size.

As mentioned earlier, this paper attempts to evaluate the impact of improved water supplies on settlements in elFasher and Eastern Kordofan districts. Of course, human settlements are seldom based on the availability of water alone, but water provision is found to play an important role in the location of new settlements. It is also clear that the creation of watering points has become a mechanism through which various forms of interactions are affected (Mohamed, 1975).

Settlement Distribution

In pre-colonial times, people organized their habitats according to a framework imposed on them by the natural environment, traditional socio-economic systems, accumulated experience, and rudimentary techniques of production. The available information on types and distribution of settlements goes back to a period prior to Turko-Egyptian rule in 1820 (Bruce, 1806; Burckhardt, 1819; Broune, 1799; aI -Tunisi, 1965; el- Bushra, 1971).

The settlements in the areas under study were based on tribal structure with a few large centres that functioned as tribal centres. The colonial authorities introduced a new system of administration, economy, and new techniques of production and transportation that drastically changed the spatial structure of the tribal society and its economy. As a result of the policy of indirect rule, two types of centres emerged: the centres of tribal and local authority and the centres of civil administration (Figs. 2 and 3).

The colonial policy towards rural areas was one of providing basic services such as health, schools, and water points. Settlements with permanent water sources attracted both population and services and became functional central places. In the absence of spatial planning in guiding water provision, water points became meeting places for people of diverse modes of living. This atmosphere encouraged inter-personal contacts and spread of information. As a result, settlements with economic possibilities and location advantages attracted both government and private invest meets to the extent that they emerged as nodes of development and provided a range of services.

FIG. 2. The Period of First Settlement of Sampled Villages in East Kordofan

FIG. 3. The Period of First Settlement of Sampled Villages in el-Fasher

Upon closer inspection the spatial distribution of settlements in both districts is seen to reflect the uneven distribution of water supplies rather than the distribution of facilities and services. The capacity of the water source influences both the size of the settlement as well as the number and nature of services located there. Boreholes are considered one of the more drastic measures for solving the water problem in the two districts, but the bigger the capacity of the borehole the larger the area it serves. This leads to both human and animal concentration round the borehole and results in soil deterioration and overgrazing. The alternative method now employed is to limit the capacity of the borehole. Thus, there is a search for the optimum population which a particular borehole can support. This depends on daily yield and the minimum per capita consumption needed for healthy living. Knowledge of the optimum size is very important because it provides an indication of the number of water points needed to satisfy the minimum needs of an area and helps to determine whether every water point has a population of the optimum size, capable of making full use of the available services.

Upon reviewing these considerations, it becomes clear that the borehole programme in the area south of el-Fasher created what may be termed a corridor of development (Fig. 4). A number of boreholes opened along Wadi cl-Ku Basin attracted new settlers from depleted areas as far as northern Darfur where the Zaghawa tribes were subjected to frequent cycles of droughts.

This paper assumes that the uneven spatial distribution of settlements reflects the uneven distribution of water supplies. To test this hypothesis, a nearest-neighbour analysis was carried out. To do this all the villages shown on the 1:250,000 map sheets, as well as new villages with more than 20 households, were selected for the calculation.

A better picture of settlement distribution in the two districts is given by the new administrative units: the people's rural councils,. which divide the districts into smaller units. This helps to show local variations. The formula used for the calculation is that of Toyne ( 1971 ):


Rn is a description of the distribution;
D is the mean distance between the nearest neighbours;
A is the area of the people's rural council; and
N is the number of villages considered in the people's rural council.

TABLE 1. Nearest-Neighbour Calculation

Rural council Rn Description
el-Fasher District  
Keltal 1.0 random
Tawila 1.3 close to random
el-Fasher 1.4 close to random
East Kordefan District:  
Umm Ruwaba 1.3 close to random
Ashana 1.2 close to random
Sherkeila 0.8 close to random
el-Rahad 0 8 close to random
Umm Dam 0.9 close to random

The values of Rn occur within the range 0-2.15. If the value is 0, it is described as clustered; if 1.0 as random, and if 2.15, as regular.

The results of the calculations are shown in Table 1. The value of Rn obtained is close to random but there are slight variations. These variations are caused by the distribution and capacity of water points.

In el-Fasher District, it was found that 48.8 per cent of the villages get their water supplies from wells and 43.9 per cent from boreholes. As the methods of obtaining water from shallow wells requires a lot of effort, boreholes attract larger populations, creating several medium- to large-sized villages. The Rn value for Eastern Kordofan indicates a settlement distribution slightly less than random. In this district 56.1 per cent of the villages get their water supplies from boreholes and 39 per cent from wells.

The significance of the Rn calculation shows that sparse distribution of watering points leads to concentration and clustering of settlements, so the value of Rn will be close to zero. On the other hand, uniform distribution gives a value of 2.15, indicating some form of regular distribution associated with spatial planning. For both districts the Rn values obtained are close to random, reflecting the importance of physical and historical factors, as well as the influence of water availability.

Water Points Attract Services

The extension of minor services to the rural areas in the two districts is also influenced by the amount and nature of the water supply. Settlements with permanent water supply have attracted both population and services and have become meeting grounds for people of diverse modes of life, culture, and attitude, leading to exchange not only of products but also of ideas and information of various kinds. To test this effect, an inventory of the different services was prepared. The inventory determined the total number of services found in each village, and the total score indicated the centrality of a village. On the basis of this simple measure, some villages stand out with high scores. The maximum number of services found in one village is 14.

TABLE 2. Adequacy of Services

East Kordofan el-Fasher
Number of
Number of
0-4 21 poor 23 poor
5-9 17 average 8 average
10-14 2 good 4 good

This simple scale has been used to divide the villages into three categories of poor, average, and good in terms of services (Table 2). This information was used to produce maps of development "surfaces" (Figs. 4 and 5). This was done by plotting the number of services for each village and by drawing isolines around them to show areas within 20 km of a service centre.

The two maps show contrasting features. In Eastern Kordofan nodal development is influenced by transport lines and water supplies. The continuous nodal belts in Eastern Kordofan are the result of the interplay of political and physical factors.

The map for el-Fasher reveals a different picture. Here the nodal zones are patchy and disconnected, a clear reflection of adequacy of water supply and economic potential. The areas to the west and north-west are adequately served. A disconnected belt is found in the soutern part, while a relatively continous belt is found in the centre, formed by new settlements.

It is clear from this work that water points become population concentration centres as well as service centres. The government may use a water programme to influence the location of settlements and to control the size of settlements by limiting the number of wells and their capacity.

Future Research

Evaluation and assessment of the impact of a water supply programme on rural areas is necessary to enable forecasts of its effects on social and economic development. So far the performance and effects of deep wells on both nomadic and settled population have received little attention. Research is needed to illuminate the following: (a) the impact on settlement and population redistribution, to understand changes that have taken place in size, pattern, geographic location, and population of settlements since the initiation of a water programme; (b) the impact on land-use and human activities, to see how the water programme has modified nomadic ways of life, as well as how it has influenced crop production; (c) evaluation of government programmes in terms of management of water points, role of self-help in solving local water needs, and consumer satisfaction and user choice; and (d) assessment of the impact of water programmes on indirect economic and social benefits, such as services.

FIG. 4. El-Fasher Development Surfaces

FIG. 5. East Kordofan Development Surfaces


Adepetu, A.A. 1971. "The Impact of Improved Rural Water Supplies on Hamar and Humur Tribes." Ph.D. thesis. University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Barbour, K.M. 1961a. The Republic of Sudan, University of London Press.
-. 1961b. "Population and Water in Central Sudan." In K.M. Barbour and R.M. Prothero, ads., Essays on African Population, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Broune, W.G. 1799. Travels in Africa, Egypt and Syria. London.

Bruce, J. 1806. Travels to Discover the Sources of the Nile. London.

Burckhardt, J.L. 1819. Travels in Nubia, London.

Bushra, S. el-. 1967. "Factors Affecting Settlement Distribution in the Sudan." Geog. Ann., 49 (ser. B), pp. 10-24.
-. 1971. "Towns in the Sudan in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries." Sudan Notes and Records, 52, pp. 63-70.

Lebon, J.H.G. 1965. Land-Use in Sudan, World Land Use Surv. Mono. No. 4.

Mohamed,Y.A.1975. "Some Spatial Aspects of Rural Change in Western Sudan," Ph.D. thesis. Univ. of Liverpool.

Toyne, P. 1971. Techniques in Human Geography.

Tunisi, M.O. al-.1965. Taskbidh al-Adhan bi Sirat Bilad al-Arab wa-lSudan . Translated by K. M . Asakar and M. M. M used . Cairo.


Water-health relationships in el-Obeid: an example from an urban semi-arid area in western Sudan

Sharaf el-Din Ibrahim Bannaga
University of Khartoum

John Pickford
Loughborough University of Technology, UK

A careful investigation of the factors associated with the water supply of a town in the Sudan could lead to a reconsideration of water requirements in other developing countries. In the past, governments, international agencies, and consulting engineers have been equally uncertain about the choice of suitable consumption figures for urban and rural water supply. The el-Obeid study indicates that, from the health point of view, a figure of 60 litres per person per day may be ample.

The provision of adequate water supplies in the Third World has been a recurring theme of recent United Nations gatherings. United Nations conferences on the environment at Stockholm in 1972, on habitat at Vancouver in 1976, and on water at Mar del Plata in 1977 raised hopes that water would soon be available for all, but there has been little discussion about how much water should be provided.

For more than a century those wishing to promote public works for the improvement of water supplies have given the expected gains in public health as the chief justification for expenditure.

Sir John Snow's investigation in the 1850s led to the incrimination of the Broad Street pump as the cause for high cholera incidence (Longmate, 1970),and it has been followed by a number of other cases where polluted water has been proved to be the cause of infection. In 1955-56 several tens of thousands of people were afflicted by infectious hepatitis in the Delhi area after drinking inadequately treated water from the River Jamuna (WHO, 1973). The pollution of surface water used for drinking caused many deaths in the villages of the Mulanje in Malawi in 1973-74 (Pineo and Subrahmanyam, 1975).

One frequently quoted case of health benefits of safe water is the gradual eradication of typhoid fever in the United States after municipal water supplies were extended (Wolman and Boch, 1963; Fair et al., 1966; Steel, 1960). In India, the death-rate at Burdwan dropped from 42 per thousand to 20 per thousand after piped water was provided in the 1880s (Wallace, 1893). More recently, five years after the construction of water supply schemes in Uttar Pradesh, the average death-rate from cholera had fallen by 74 per cent, from typhoid by 63 per cent, and from diarrhoea by 43 per cent ( Lee, 1969). In Kenya the general level of health improved dramatically only four years after a piped water supply system became operational (Carruthers, 1973).

Nineteenth-century workers stressed the importance of water quality, and it became accepted practice for civil engineers to design for absolutely safe potable water. British water engineers have been especially assiduous in maintaining the highest standards of quality. For example analysis of thousands of samples of water supplied to London have shown zero E. cold counts (Southgate,1969).

In the past decade or so, a growing number of people have questioned the wisdom of this 100 per cent safe policy when applied to rural water supplies in developing countries. It is argued that, when resources are limited, it is better to give access to a reasonable quantity of reasonably safe water for a large number of people rather than first-class water for only a few people. Bradley's disease classification (Bradley and Emurnon, 1968; White et al., 1972) set the scene for this by pointing out that many water-related diseases are associated with scarcity of water rather than with its quality.

In fact, most of the diseases which may be classified as truly water-carried can be transmitted by other means. Personal hygiene may be crucial in preventing the spread of cholera and diarrhoea, and personal hygiene requires water. Therefore, sufficient water for washing is the major health requirement, and quantity may be more important than quality.

Ignorance, poverty, and diseases are the basic factors hampering development in the developing world. The elimination of poverty and diseases can only proceed if an adequate supply of water sustains agriculture and industry and maintains a healthy environment. The majority of urban centres in the developing world have water supplies which are overloaded, working at inadequate pressure, intermittent, or delivered through contaminated distribution systems (Pineo and Subrahmanyam, 1975; Dietrich and Henderson, 1963; Damme, 1973). Furthermore, the inadequacy of municipal water services in many cities has become more acute under the weight of population growth and urban migration.

With these ideas in mind, the authors during a water study at el-Obeid endeavoured to find out just what connection exists between the amount of water consumed and the health of the people who use it. The study also considered a variety of other matters concerned with the present and future water supplies in the area.

El-Obeid is a town of some 140,000 people in western Sudan, 320 km southwest of Khartoum across the semi-arid zone, which extends from el-Obeid in all directions (Fig. 1). Annual rainfall is low, and in some years only 100 mm or so falls during a short season of high-intensity precipitation. With maximum daytime temperatures of up to 40 C, losses by evaporation are high.

Housing in the municipality is divided into four classes based on plot size. Buildings in the first and second classes are of good quality with water provided by house connections from the public supply. The medium-density third class is subdivided into three groups: class 3A has piped water to the compounds, class 3B has mixed supplies, and class 3C relies on public standpipes. The fourth class areas are congested areas with the majority of the houses of sub-standard or temporary structure, mostly with mud walls. Their inhabitants rely on public standpipes, unprotected local sources, or water vendors. In the municipality as a whole only 41 per cent of the houses have piped water connections.

In order to relate health to water consumption a total of 235 households were selected as being representative of the different types of households in the town. Pre-coded schedules of measurable questions were prepared for obtaining data by household interviews, and return visits were made over a period of six months to ascertain the incidence of illness and changes in the household. Data were obtained about the present water supply, including the actual quantity used and its cost. The age, educational standard, occupation, and other personal details of members of the household were noted during the first visit, together with information indicating the standard of living. An important group of questions was drawn up to check the health and disease pattern. Of particular interest was the number of children of the householder who had died before reaching adulthood. During return visits, information was obtained about the type and duration of illness for all members of the household.

To supplement the household survey, information about diseases was obtained from hospital and clinic records. Table 1 shows the proportion of patients at el-Obeid General Hospital in 1974 whose illness might be related to water or to a shortage of water.

For the whole of the Sudan during 1974/75 about 560,000 patients were treated for inflammatory diseases of the eye, over one million for skin diseases. and some 600.000 for diarrhoea. Moreover, it is likely that these patients included in the health statistics were only a small proportion of those suffering from these diseases. Diarrhoea, eye infections, and skin diseases are particularly associated with poor personal hygiene due to lack of water.

Examination of children by the School Health Division of the elObeid General Hospital demonstrates the connection between eye infections and water supply. Table 2 summarizes information from annual reports for 1971/72, 1973/74, and 1974/75.

FIG. 1. Location of el-Obeid

TABLE 1. Percentages of Out-Patients and Deaths at elObeid General Hospital Associated with Water-Related Diseases

Disease Out-patient
Deaths of in
Diarrhoea and dysentery 13.6 31
Malaria and "fever" 26.1 7
Kidney diseases, etc. 6.4 2
Eye infections 12.7 -
Skin infections 4.3 -
Bilharzia 0.2 -
Totals 63.3 40

TABLE 2. Incidence of Eye Diseases among el-Obeid Schoolchildren


Catchment area type

Average water use in catchment area (litres per day)

Percentages of children examined

Personal cleanliness at inspection

Eye disease at inspection

Good Average Poor Trachoma Inflammatory diseases Others
Southern 1st and 2nd class 100-250 100 0 0 4 10 0
el-Guba, Amir, Quarters, and Petrol 3rd class A 55-70 66 28 6 19 12 0
el-Mayrum, el-Radif, and Falustin 3rd class B   45 39 16 22 25 5
el-Nazir and el-Radif Extension 3rd class C 20 33 42 25 31 27 8
Fellata andTayba 4th crass 16 4 71 25 70 30 9

Eye diseases are also very prevalent in the rural areas around elObeid which are included in the el-Bideira Rural Council. The incidence of various water-related diseases, as estimated by nurses in charge of some village clinics, is shown in Table 3. Water is a very scarce commodity in these villages except during the short rainy season.

The survey of 235 el-Obeid households was carried out between April and September 1975. Table 4 summarizes the incidence of some water-related diseases, as reported by the householders during the survey, together with the average daily water-use. The number of child deaths was obtained by asking the householder how many of his own and other dependent children had died before reaching the age of 20.

The data obtained from the household survey were subjected to Pearson correlation, partial correlation, chi-square, and contingency tests. The study data met all the requirements of the partial and the simple Pearson correlations. Although the partial correlation is more accurate, the simple correlation could be more appropriate since it gives the same indication as the partial correlation. Table 5 shows that there was a significant inverse relationship between water-use and certain water-related diseases.

However, the main concern is to show which of the waterrelated diseases is associated with water-use more than the others. It is by no means a direct relationship, since the effects of other factors which might contribute to the prevalence of these diseases are not eliminated. It is interesting to note that diseases which are thought to be due to lack of personal hygiene (eye and skin) are more associated with water-use than others.

TABLE 3. Water-Related Diseases in Some Villages of the el-Bideira Rural Council: Number of Cases per Person

Gaibat Kazgeil Taggat Umm
Eye infections 0.53 0.33 0.42 0.49 0.43
Skin infections 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.18 0.12
Diarrhoea and
0.07 0.20 0.17 0.25
Kidney diseases 0.07 0.04 0.08 0.32 0.13
Malaria 0.30 0.13 0.13 0.23 0.17

A connnection between availability of water and the incidence of diarrhoea or dysentery in the United States was reported by Hollister et al. (1955) and Stewarts et al. (1955). A detailed study of diarrhoeal diseases in seven developing countries, including the Sudan, was reported by van Zijl (1966) who pointed out that accessible water and sanitation result in less diarrhoea. White et al. (1972) found in East Africa that 19 per cent of the households without piped water had had a case of diarrhoea in the week preceding the survey, whereas only 3.1 per cent of households with water connections had suffered from diarrhoea in the same period.

Although the incidence of disease increases with scarcity of water, there are, of course, many other factors which make illness more likely in poor-quality housing areas. In the worst districts, sanitation is bad, housing is over-crowded, children are less educated, the people are poorer, and, there fore, malnutrition is more likely. In the fourth class areas, few households have their own latrines, and the children excrete in the open spaces between houses.

TABLE 4. Illness Reported during el-Obeid Household Survey

Class and
(litres per day)
Cases of disease per person Days
Child deaths
per house
and dysentery
and fever
1st class 242 none none 0.0 0.2 2.0 0.01
2nd class 95 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.5 3.8 0.03
3rd class A  
Petrol 58 0.1 0.0 0.4 0.8 5.6 0.07
el-Guba 68 0.1 0.0 0.3 0.6 6.0 0.12
Quarters 66 0.1 0.0 0.5 0.6 8.2 0.16
3rd class B  
Falustin 42 0.5 0.3 0.8 1.2 13.2 0.24
el-Radif 41 0.3 0.1 0.7 0.9 10.8 0.17
el-Mayrum 48 0.2 0.1 0.7 0.6 10.1 0.16
Fellata 17 0.8 0.5 1.2 0.8 19.5 0.43
3rd class C  
el-Nazir 18 0.5 0.3 0.9 0.7 14.4 0.24
Radif Ext. 22 0.4 0.2 0.7 0.4 12.1 0.21
el-Ashara 26 0.4 0.1 0.7 0.5 11.2 0.17
Mayrum Ext. 18 0.3 0.3 1.0 0.8 13.1 0.26
4th class  
Fellata 16 0.6 0.5 1.1 1.0 19.4 0.50
India 14 0.5 0.3 1.1 0.7 19.7 0.38
Kareima 19 0.4 0.2 0.8 0.7 15.5 0.39

TABLE 5. Correlation Coefficients of Disease Factors with Water Use per Person-el-Obeid
Household Survey

Pearson *
Coeff. Sig. Chi
Days illness per person -0. 77 -0.58 0.001 598 392 0.85
Child deaths per -0. 73 -0.51 0.001 413 280 0.80
Eye disease -0.42 -0.32 0.001 261 196 0.73
Skin diseases -0.42 -0.29 0.001 196 168 0.67
Diarrhoea -0.36 -0.24 0.003 296 252 0.75
Dysentery -0.25 -0.21 0.005 146 112 0.62
Fever other than malaria -0.24 -0.18 0.011 110 112 0.57
Malaria -0.21 -0.12 0.016 310 252 0.75

*Level of significance is 0.001 for all factors except malaria, for which it is 0.003. n = 235

TABLE 6. Correlation Coefficients of Various Factors with Number of Days Illness per Person-el-Obeid Household Survey

Partial correlation Chi-square test Contingency
Coefficients Significance Chi-
Degre of
Water-use per person -0. 77 -0.47 0.001 598 392 0.85
Standard of -0.72 -0 39 0.001 428 240 0.80
person -0.69 -0.27 0.001 393 264 0.79
Waste removal -0. 63 -0.22 0.001 266 84 0.73

*Level of significance is 0.001 for all factors.

Some of these other factors influencing the health/disease pattern were studied in the household survey, and their relationship with disease was correlated. Table 5 shows that the most significant measure of disease was the number of days of illness per person, so the statistic was related to other factors, as shown in Table 6.

In this analysis, "standard of living" was given a numerical value to indicate the conditions within the home. The number of days of illness per person during the survey period (April-September 1975) was plotted against average water-use per person, as shown in Fig. 2. A curve was obtained by the least-squares-fit method. This is shown on the graph as a hyperbola of equation:

where d represents the number of days of illness per person during the study, and w is the daily water-use per person.

FIG. 2. Relationship between Days of Illness and Water Use

The chi-square test was used to check the accuracy of this curve, giving the following results: chi-square 468 degrees of freedom 165 level of significance 0.001 contingency coefficient 0.82

However, the graph shows the gross relationship between water-use and the incidence of disease and, therefore, makes no allowance for the effects of the other factors, because it is difficult to isolate these effects when constructing a simple graph. The inclusion of the graph in this paper is to give the reader a visual impression of the effects of water-use on the incidence of disease.

It is therefore concluded that there was little improvement in health standards when water-use was increased beyond 60 litres per person per day. it is fair to say that this figure is an approximate one and by no means represents an absolute value.

Main Recommendations

It is imperative that research be conducted into the provision of water in developing countries, particularly on the relationship between the adequacy and inadequacy of water services and the health and well-being of the people, and the extent to which sufficient provision of these services is inhibited by social, economic, and environmental factors. This is necessary because designs of water schemes are generally based either on existing provisions with an annual percentage growth factor, or on current design criteria in industrial countries. Neither of these bases is satisfactory.

There is a need to conduct studies which can identify the benefits of a safe and adequate water supply in order to quantify the economic burden of water-related diseases as represented by loss of life-capital through premature deaths, loss of production from absenteeism, etc. The value of water includes both personal benefits-such as freedom from disease and feeling miserable, and from a lowered potential energy output in adult working life caused by childfood infection-and its monetary value in commerce and industry. There is also a need to re-appraise the position of water supply compared with alternatives in social investment and with investment in more directly productive activities.

When considering the future of semi-arid regions, prompt consideration should be given to the scarcity of water. The first priority in training or research programmes should be given to studying the existing water sources, investigating accessible resources, and conducting research into suppression of evaporation at reasonable cost.

The planning of water schemes should be based on an under standing of the role of water systems in a wider socio-economic context and should, therefore, occupy an important position in urban planning. Current policy, however, tends to consider water utilities in isolation. The idea that the installation of a permanent water supply system in a town would stimulate other activities leading to further community development, has not yet taken root.


Bradley, D.J., and P. Emurnon. 1968. "Predicting the Epidemiologal Effects of Changing Water Sources: I. A Quantitative Approach." E. African Med. J., 45, No. 5, pp. 284-91.

Carruthers, I.D. 1973. Impactand Economics of Community Water Supply: A Study of Rural Water Investment in Kenya. Agr. Dept. Studies Report No. 6, Ashford, Kent, UK: Wye College.

Damme, J.M.G.V. 1973. "Needs and Problems in Water Supply in Developing Countries." Proc. Conf. Environmental Health Eng. in Hot Climates and Developing Countries. Loughborough.

Dietrich, B.H.,and J.M. Henderson, 1963. Urban Water Supply Conditions and Needs in Seventy-five Developing Countries. WHO Public Health Paper No. 23.

Fair, G.M., J.C. Geyer, and D.A. Okun. 1966. Water and Waste water Engineering. Vol. 1: Water Supply and Wasterwater Removal. New York: John Wiley.

Hollister, A.C., et al. 1955. "influence of Water Availability on Shigella Prevalence in Children of Farm Labour Families." Amer. J. Publ. Hlth., 45, pp. 35462.

Lee, T.R. 1969. Residential Water Demand and Economic Development. University of Toronto Press.

Longmate, N. 1970. Alive and Well. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Pineo, C.S.. and D.V. Subrahmanyam, 1975. Community Water Supply and Excrete Disposal Situation in the Developing Countries. Geneva: WHO.

Southgate, B.A. 1969. Water: Pollution and Conservation, London: Thunderbird Enterprises.

Steel, E.W. 1960. Water Supply and Sewerage, 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Stewarts, W.H., et al. 1955. "Diarrhoeal Disease Control Studies IV: The Relationship of Certain Environmental Factors to Prevalence of Shigella Infection." Amer. J. Trop. Med Hyg., 4, pp. 718-24.

Wallace, J. 1893. Sanitary Engineering in India. Bombay: Educ. Soc. Steam Press.

White, G.F., D.J. Bradley, and A.U. White, 1972. Drawers of Water. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Wolman, A., and H.M. Boch. 1963. "US Water SUPPLY Lessons Applicable to Developing Countries." J. Amer. Water Works Assoc, 55, No. 8. pp. 941-56.

World Health Organization. 1973. Reuse of Effluents Methods of Wastewater Treatment and Health Hazards. WHO Technical Report Ser. No. 517.

Zijl, W.J. van. 1966. "Studies on Diarrhoeal Diseases in Seven Countries by the WHO Diarrhoeal Advisory Team." Bull. WHO 35, pp. 249-61.


Socio-economic assessment of agricultural development projects in the Sudan

Heinz-Ulrich Thimm
Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Federal Republic of Germany

A number of projects in arid and semi-arid regions of the Democratic Republic of Sudan have been plagued by serious problems. These are partly due to natural factors which people cannot change easily, but other factors are in part socio-economic, relating to the interaction of man with his environment. Some of them may need long periods of time to overcome; others can be controlled if project performance can be lifted to acceptable standards. Major findings from an evaluation study of eight agricultural development projects outside the Gezira Scheme during 1978 can be summarized as follows:

Mechanized rain-fed farming projects suffer mainly from irregular yields and vast difficulties of input supply and output marketing. Project structure and administrative procedures are not flexible enough to react to changing climatic and economic conditions. They carry a large risk of failure for the individual farmer. These projects consume a large share of imported capital goods (machinery, fuel, etc.) Of all the farming activities they represent the most serious threat to the environment in the Sudan, and desert encroachment is a real danger in some of these areas.

Irrigation projects have in general fulfilled the objective of tapping regional potential of land and water resources. The investment of large sums of capital has been justified mainly by the capacity to earn foreign exchange through exporting crops, and to settle and employ large numbers of people. The organizational solutions and the quality of the staff have not always matched the magnitude of the projected task. Problems of crop rotation, optimal water distribution, weed infestation, labour shortage, etc. could not be solved. Local participation has remained a problem.

Grazing schemes on postural lands received mixed interest among the local population. Whenever major land ownership disputes or tax-collecting problems were involved, projects broke down after an initial period of trial and error. Overgrazing as a consequence of the unchanged principle of common ownership of land and individual possession of livestock remained a problem. Substantial settlement of nomads did not materialize. Improved livestock marketing facilities are still needed.

Research requirements are apparent from the common problem areas of arid land projects. They include particularly the analysis of the determining factors for permanent cropping or grazing; for optimum land-use systems under given natural, economic, and human restrictions; for social acceptance; and for economic viability of projects in arid lands. Strengthened local research institutions, supported by international co-operation, can be major information sources.

Permanence of Cultivation

All mechanized rain-fed agricultural projects leave many doubts about whether permanence of cultivation has been secured. Permanence is defined as participants having a 25-year or longer perspective towards their use of land. Doubts are expressed in three ways:
(a) Does the environment allow continuous cropping?
(b) Does the administrative performance guarantee the final success of the projects?
(c) Are the local people motivated to continue the efforts started?

Most data analyzed show high rates of fluctuations of yields for a number of reasons. The major reason has certainly been the irregularity of rainfall and this points to the fact that the economic risk of such projects will always be high, so only people who are able to sustain this risk should be encouraged to continue. Besides rainfall, the tendency of most projects to show decreasing yields after initial high returns to their investments points to the adverse impact mechanized farming may have on the environment. Depletion of soil has apparently begun immediately after the first crop has been harvested. In some instances, the problem may be reduced by the introduction of more rigorous crop rotation, the application of fertilizer, the observation of more soilconserving techniques, etc., but in other instances the cultivation of the project area may have to be confined to certain years only, whenever favourable climatic conditions allow cultivation without an irreversible threat to the environment. But in general the question of the permanence of cultivation cannot be answered without more research based upon reliable longterm rainfall data and soil fertility studies.

The soils of all irrigated projects will have a better chance of being cultivated permanently as long as water remains available and minimum standards of soil preparation, crop rotation, and fertilization are observed. The major production problems seem to be lack of knowledge about the optimum combination of crops, incipient salinity, drainage needs, and weeds. In addition, human and administrative problems are dominant because of the lack of social research into the most suitable system of participation of the local population, and of the low standard of organizational performance at various levels of the central and regional institutions and at the projects themselves.

Organizational Shortcomings

Problems of organization emerged in all types of projects, and this was certainly not unexpected. Some were due simply to the remoteness of the projects, which makes it difficult to provide the necessary services and inputs at reasonable,costs and on time. The question to be asked is whether or not certain projects should have been started at all, if there was no infrastructure for transport, services, processing, etc,,to justify beginning. The factual knowledge about such links must be improved through training devices for those people who make decisions about project implementation. The common problems that inputs were always late or not available at all, that land preparation and seeding were seldom carried out on time, and that crops could not be harvested, point to major shortcomings in planning and implementing procedures. With currently available data the question of what would be the most suitable project organization for all projects cannot be answered, and probably also depends on the specific circumstances of each project. But it seems certain that acquiring qualified staff is a major bottleneck. If highly qualified staff cannot be attracted, the targets of a project have to be adjusted to the real level of performance which can reasonably be expected from less qualified staff.

A number of organizational problems could have been solved by better co-ordination among various government agencies, e.g. the Ministry of Irrigation and the boards of the different schemes. The lack of understanding of how different ministries and their regional representatives might be coordinated through a common plan of action shows that the psychological and organizational aspects of coordination have never prayed any decisive role in project design and implementation although they have already contributed to quite a number of failures. For example, inadequate recruiting procedures for hiring the necessary seasonal labour for harvesting cotton in the larger irrigation schemes has resulted in huge losses.

Social Acceptance

All projects show various problems of acceptance by the local population. A wide range of attitudes was observed, from outright rejection of the whole project to very active involvement. A number of problems had arisen from landownership disputes, especially between settlers and nomads. Experience from such projects shows clearly that land rights have to be settled before the project starts, or many efforts will be in vain. Failure to take into account the legitimate interest of livestock-owning nomads when starting a settlement scheme in their area has been the reason for many troubles. In addition, neglect of local leaders and of their role in tribal conflicts has accounted for a number of both expected and unexpected events which, to say the least, reduced the speed with which the project moved ahead.

Social acceptance became a particular problem in irrigation projects where nomads were expected to be available for scheduled work in their fields at times which apparently clashed with their livestock-herding interests. The nomads opposed projects in which livestock had to be restricted to certain specified areas where pasture was insufficient. The nomads always gave priority to their livestock interests, not to the objective of the project. Furthermore, connecting livestockdisease control measures with tax revenue collection for the government often reduces their chances of success because many owners come forward with only parts of their herds, resulting in animal health problems for the whole region.

Social acceptance of development proposals has apparently much to do with available opportunities for the target groups to participate effectively in project planning. Consequently, quite a number of failures are due to the lack of institutions which allow for proper participation. Moreover, the involvement of non-government organizations (NGO's) in project implementation has seldom been tried, but this may be the key to a greater interest of the local population in becoming actively involved.

Economic Viability

The economic results of many projects may be acceptable from the private point of view of the farmer, but not for the public. This is because all projects are heavily subsidized by the government, mostly from external sources, and none would be able to continue without further official support. This is true not only of capital investments but, in a number of cases, of the recurrent budgets too. Calculation of the social profitability of projects has to include inputs and outputs at real prices for labour, capital, and foreign exchange, which reflect the true opportunity costs of these resources. The problem is that many benefits and costs are in the form of indirect social or environmental effects, whose positive or negative contribution to the national income cannot be directly assessed.

The internal economic problems of projects stem mainly from budgetary constraints, high costs of maintenance and fuel, low standards of infrastructure with resulting heavy expenses for transport and communication, as well as from a lack of management flexibility. But the main cause for concern lies in the fact that physical yields are not sufficient to justify the existing structure and costs. Further efforts to raise private and social profitability must primarily be directed towards increasing yields and stabilizing productivity. In addition, other job opportunities outside the projects are needed to ease seasonal unemployment problems.

One particular economic problem of irrigation schemes arises from the fact that yields are reduced for lack of water during the late irrigation season. While quite frequently the first crop gets more than enough water during the rainy season, the second crop suffers because of a low water storage capacity. Sometimes it does not pay to harvest a second crop at all.

Credit to smallholders plays a major role in most project plans, but reports show low rates of repayment for various reasons. The management usually tries to recover credit by subtracting all costs from the return of the one cash crop only, which in turn reduces the interest of farmers in producing such a crop, as the residual return has lost its incentive effect. The system must be changed to allow the repayment of credit from various sources throughout the year, not just from the only cash crop produced.

A further concern is the rapid turnover of staff. Losses occurring because of staff members being transferred too frequently cannot easily be calculated but must be of great magnitude judging from the low performance of the total system in which qualified staff plays such a decisive role.

Performance Matrices

It is clear from the above discussions that the problems of permanence of cultivation, organizational shortcomings, social acceptance, and economic viability are of different magnitude in the various projects, but it seems that all projects, despite differing designs and sizes of operation, have some common problems which could be tackled successfully with the same kind of strategy. This is certainly true for permanence of cultivation and shortcomings of organization.

The third common problem, social acceptance, has a mixed rating. This is due to the special Sudanese situation, where vast areas of land are still available for cultivation and projects need not necessarily clash with other vested interests in those regions. Projects could, therefore, be designed to fit the expectations and resources of particular groups of people, such as immigrants, local small holders, tenants, absentee farmers, hired labour, and nomads. Each group has a unified social background, and project organization could be adjusted to their specific needs. On the other hand, every time heterogeneous groups had to be included into one project, serious problems of acceptance could be observed. This was especially true with nomads and their integration into settlement schemes. This points to the need for data collection about the opinions of the local population on project plans before their implementation. Wherever possible, plans must be prepared with the people, not for them!

The fourth common problem, economic viability, ranges between serious and light for most projects. None of the projects can be called economically sound from both the private and the public point of view. The results, of course, depend heavily upon the evaluation methods used and the definition of social costs. It is difficult to calculate all the social benefits when evaluating a project. Sufficient economic viability was reached in those projects where alternative project designs had been developed and where there could be selection between alternatives. This led to better organizational structure and to some flexibility in management decisions in order to improve economic performance.

TABLE 1. Common Problems of Selected Projects, Sudan 1978

Project Type Permanence
of cultivation
Simsim Area rain-fed XXX X XX XX
Khashm el-Girba irrigated XX XXX XX XX
Sag el-Na'am irrigated X XX X XXX
Babanusa Area livestock X XXX XX X
Nuba Mountains rain-fed XXX XX X X
Gerih el-Sarha livestock XX XXX XXX X
Agadi State Farm rain-fed XXX X X XX
Damazin Area rain-fed XXX X XX XX

Note: XXX = very serious problems, XX = serious problems, X = light problems.

For further analysis, certain socio-economic indicators have been calculated. They show the capacity of projects for generation of private and public income. Employment creation has also been included to emphasize the fact that income generation through economic growth is feasible as long as larger numbers of people can find productive employment. If economic growth has been accomplished without increasing the labour input in regions where labour has been in surplus, project planning must be changed to organizational types where employment creation plays a more decisive role.

Finally, the problem of the involvement of the local people indicates the degree of "bottom-up" planning and implementation. These difficulties are well-known; the question is whether planners have always tried hard enough to get a local involvement process started.


Training needs for project staff are apparent. They arise directly from the common problems discussed above. The author assumes that a post-graduate training programme in arid lands management should primarily try to contribute successfully towards solving these problems. The objective of the programme should, therefore, be to provide an advanced and specialized course which will enable project officers and administrators to solve problems of permanent use of arid lands for agricultural production, promote optimal organization of development projects, and improve the social acceptance of centrally planned activities and the economic viability of projects implemented in arid lands.

A training programme of this type would best be located in a faculty of agriculture at a university in a developing country, where biological, environmental, technical, and socioeconomic disciplines are already established and can contribute jointly to an "integrated" arid lands management programme. Students and lecturers should come not only from agriculture but also from other fields, such as geology, geography, engineering, and business administration, as long as they agree to follow an integrated approach.

Such courses would benefit from a thorough mixture of theoretical and practical training, and from a provision that each participant present his knowledge and thoughts about a particular subject in the form of a written thesis.

These considerations lead to the proposal to organize this training as an M.Sc. programme of 18 months' duration. A formal degree programme seems absolutely necessary for a number of reasons connected with the academic and administrative structures of a university on the one hand, and the motivation and career aspects of the participants on the other. Additional advantages include the attraction of highly qualified staff and international funding, recognition of graduates for national and multinational services, etc.

Programme structure

When we examine the common problems of the projects analysed, the following points concerning the programme emerge:
(a) The project staff and the majority of the project planners need more understanding of the specific natural and socio-economic forces operating in the area of an arid land project. Otherwise, they may not be able to develop the area's production potential without endangering its long-term viability. The training needs to provide the necessary course-work in the natural and social sciences and in the production techniques most suitable for arid areas. The time for course-work should not exceed 10 months, including a one-month vacation.
(b) The project staff needs training to organize a project in such a way that the expected targets can be reached, flexible responses to changing conditions are possible, integration with the overall regional development is achieved, and the risk of the project's remaining an exclusive "government project" is avoided. The training should include practical experience in carrying out administrative, advisory, and evaluation tasks on particular projects. The time for this practical work should not exceed four months.
(c) The project staff needs training in writing documents from observation and data collection on the projects. Such reports, in addition to their training value, should interest and motivate the responsible administrators and politicians, as well as the scientists, to look into the particular needs of arid lands management. The training programme should require the presentation of a thesis on a theme connected with practical experience on a project. The time for this work should not exceed four months.

The selection of themes for the thesis and the organization of a practical project for the students will depend upon a number of administrative and personal factors. They must be covered in more detail by relevant academic regulations for M.Sc. degrees to be approved by the university in charge of the programme. But it is hoped that these aspects will be taken care of in close collaboration with the institutions responsible for project implementation.

Course content, on the other hand, can be developed by matching existing syllabuses of relevant degree courses with the practical work on projects described above. The proposals in Appendix H should be suitable for at least the Sudanese situation, but it is hoped that they will also have wider application.

Course- work

From all the reports, it is evident that studies on permanence of cultivation must have priority in all teaching activities. Project organization, social acceptance, and economic viability come next. If ten months are available for course-work, this period should be divided into three terms of three months each, allowing one month for vacation. Half the time should be devoted to the permanence of cultivation studies and the rest to the remaining three fields.

This proposal may differ from conventional approaches in developing training programmes and syllabuses. The assumption is that a post-graduate course in arid lands management does not need all possible components from relevant science disciplines, but should concentrate on the major common problem areas which have been observed over the past decades. Hence, the proposed programme assumes that the participants have enough insight from their previous training and experience to concentrate upon the specific issues of project performance in arid lands. In reading through the course descriptions given in Appendix H. the reader may ask himself whether a traditional lecture and seminar approach would be more appropriate for adult and experienced learners. The author believes that the introduction of participatory techniques through teamwork and project work would improve the motivation of students and the quality of studies, as well as the ability of lecturers to guide and co-ordinate such an interdisciplinary programme. To facilitate the engagement of visiting lecturers who cannot stay for long periods, a block teaching system could also be used. The introduction of case studies as a teaching device should be promoted wherever possible.

Report and recommendations of the Khartoum workshop on arid lands management, 22-25 october 1978

Douglas L. Johnson
Clark University, USA

Dryland environments have become the focus of increasing scholarly attention over the last half century. Although the intensity of this attention has fluctuated, the effects of the 1969 1974 Sahelian drought and the recent United Nations Conference on Desertification have brought the problems of arid lands once again into prominence. Concern is now centred particularly on understanding the causes and effects of appropriate management strategies to control and, possibly, reverse desertification. Research and training are vital to this effort as much practical work remains to be done.

Background and Objectives of the Workshop


The United Nations University, founded in December 1973, is an autonomous unit within the United Nations system. its objectives stress promotion of scholarly research, improvement of action-oriented training, and enhancement of the diffusion of knowledge from centres of learning to the practical realm of everyday life. The University has undertaken a special obligation to foster the growth and interaction of Third World research and training institutions. This is done by developing specific working associations with affiliated institutions. Unlike the traditional university, the UN University maintains neither campus nor students nor regular faculty. Instead, it consists of a central administrative core, and of research and training programmes coordinated by the University and carried out by existing institutions using their own basic resources, supported in part by funds and personnel marshalled by the University. These programmes are directed towards specific activities designed to improve human welfare and encourage development.

In carrying out its general objectives, the UN University has implemented a number of programmes. The Natural Resources Programme is one of these. It contains several distinct sets of activities which were selected as priority areas in mid-1977. Given the considerable global concern regarding the degradation of dryland environments, it is necessary to make an assessment of the application of existing knowledge to these problems a feature of the Natural Resources Programme, and this is the main objective of the Arid Lands Sub-programme. Wealthy nations can afford to subsidize the populations of their dryland territories, but less well-endowed countries can seldom afford this luxury. The priority is less one of making drylands more productive for export to environmentally more favoured regions than it is of providing reasonable levels of security and livelihood to existing populations of the arid zone. For countries with substantial dryland areas the assessment of existing knowledge, its dissemination and augmentation, and the training of personnel in its application are prerequisites for national development.

The selection of the University of Khartoum as an associated institution, following the recommendations of an evaluation mission carried out in October 1977, is an important first step in moving the Sub-programme in Arid Lands Management from concept to reality. The reasons for selecting the University of Khartoum as an associated institution are compelling. In terms of size, the Sudan is the largest country in Africa; yet nearly two-thirds of its land surface falls within the boundaries of the dry world. Precisely because dryland resources make up so much of its natural resource endowment, the Sudan reflects the situation of numerous subSaharan countries. Moreover, its position in the dry tropics makes it possible to compare the Sudanese experience of dryland resource management with that of homologous climatic zones elsewhere. The possibilities of fruitful information exchange are magnified thereby. In addition, the existence of a range of traditional livelihoods, from irrigated agriculture to pastoralism, combined with the development projects of the last 40 years, makes the Sudan a microcosm of change and development for Africa and much of the Third World. The Sudan is also at the crossroads of Africa environments. Linked northwards to Egypt by the Nile through a series of physical and cultural environmeets, the Sudan is joined east-west through the Sudano Sahelian belt by patterns of migration and cultural interaction.

The University of Khartoum has considerable staff resources with which to pursue research and training. Institutes concerned with hydrology and arid lands studies have a long history at the university, and the recently created Institute of Development Studies is an active and productive enterprise. The emergence of the Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) is a promising development, since it provides a major focal point within which training activities can take place, current faculty research interests can be co-ordinated, and new interdisciplinary research can be developed. At the University of Khartoum there is a tradition of work carried out by indigenous researchers and an increasingly intensive involvement in post-graduate diploma and degree courses. There is an equally important tradition of involvement in the practical world of government decision-making. Many University of Khartoum graduates find employment in government institutions, and individual faculty members occasionally assume leadership roles in the executive branch. With over 700 faculty members, many of whom have environmental interests, the University of Khartoum is well provided with competent personnel who, with some judicious and modest supplementation from outside resources, should be sufficient to meet the demands of the joint programme between the UN University and the University of Khartoum. Although the faculty is bilingual in English and Arabic, the absence of strength in other languages will complicate interaction with Francophone Africa. The Arid Lands Management Workshop represents an attempt to articulate a co-operative programme founded on the University of Khartoum's basic strengths.


The objectives of the workshop can be briefly summarized. First, participants were asked to provide advice on the institutional structure of the joint programme to be undertaken between the UN University and the University of Khartoum. These programmes will be vested primarily, but not exclusively, in the IES. The perspective from which this advice was to be given was that of the United Nations University in general and its Arid Lands Sub-programme in particular. Consideration of appropriate research and training programmes in relation to the national needs and priorities of the Sudan was the second objective. Finally, recommendations were solicited on appropriate linkages between the University of Khartoum as an associated UNU institution and organizations with similar interests elsewhere. Attention was to be directed first towards the possibilities of research, and, particularly, training interaction between the University of Khartoum and other institutions in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa. Equally important was an assessment of the sharing of experience and knowledge with institutions elsewhere in the world dealing with analogous problems,

Themes Discussed

It was the second of these objectives, that dealing with research and training programmes, that received the bulk of attention at the workshop. Emphasis was placed on identifying areas where substantial knowledge existed but where application to current problems had proved difficult. Research that extends existing knowledge was deemed important, but outside the purview of the workshop. In addition, a focus of discussion was the question of whose existing knowledge was under consideration, for it was recognized that formally trained scientists and local resource users might have very different perceptions of the knowledge pertinent to dryland management. The themes receiving the most attention, which are summarized below, were research needs, training requirements, and both existing and potential programme and information linkages.

Research needs

A substantial array of research themes was discussed at the workshop. Some of these were of a fundamental nature, often requiring lengthy and costly investigation. Other themes focused more specifically on assessment studies. These might help to define subsequent basic research priorities, but were envisaged in the first instance as being more limited in scope. The constrained financial circumstances of the United Nations University constituted a recurring theme which emphasized that the University's monetary contribution was "seed money" in mutually agreed joint programme areas rather than a total underwriting of the IES budget and activities. This section of the report refers in general terms to the wide array of issues discussed even though many items were tangential to the direct purpose of the workshop.

Basic studies

Several study areas were suggested at the workshop which might more appropriately be considered "basic studies," or investigations requiring considerable investments of funds and time. Much of the interest in this tropical area revolved around the need to identify appropriate case study regions which could be monitored for trends over long periods. Such study sites obviously require the establishment of adequate baseline data where they do not already exist, if changes are to be noted and measured. The need to monitor the recovery of physically degraded areas was particularly stressed, as was the need to build appropriate monitoring systems at varying scales (satellites, aerial photos, ground sampling, etc.) and intensities into all investigations. Detailed investigations of improved land management techniques related to local need that would enhance productivity also found favour among commentators. In this connection, considerable attention was directed to the need to determine physical and human dryland types in the Sudan. Work has been carried out on this topic from a land-use perspective, but its utility is not always clear to planners. Moreover, where existing data, ethnographic and physical, are lacking, basic investigations might be required. Generally, these themes were not pursued in great detail by the workshop, which focused its attention on assessment activities and the identification of obstacles to applying existing knowledge.

Assessment studies

That obstacles to the application of existing knowledge to dryland problems were considerable was a widely shared judgement among workshop participants. Less clear agreement on reasons for this pointed to the need to identify the factors influencing project success or failure. One reason frequently mentioned for repeated inability to match project expectations with the reality of performance was the tendency to move too quickly to project implementation. Instead, more careful attention to pre-project planning in which local perception of the rational use of resources was taken into account might give a better success rate. Another reason cited as limiting the successful application of knowledge was the limited circulation of existing results and information. Private consultants, consulting firms, and both governmental and non governmental organizations had produced a considerable number of reports and studies. These seldom were readily available. IES was urged to consider establishing a documentation centre/ library where such material could be collated, and the possessors of the same were urged to relinquish their material for a higher good.

The role that IES might play in this process, as well as the institution's priorities and their relationship to the UNU- University of Khartoum Joint Programme was the subject of spirited, if at times diffuse and diversionary, debate, The issue of teaching versus research as the main focus of IES seemed resolved in favour of a primarily research entity with a training component. IES involvement in applied research related to contemporary problem areas such as the Jonglei Canal, the Red Sea coast, and the semi-arid zones of the Sahara fringe, also seemed definite. Considerable confusion surrounded two questions: (a) What was the structure of IES's research programmer? (b) How did the larger I ES programme relate to the specific areas of association with the UN University? The latter question was ultimately resolved in the recommended joint programme assessment studies and training activities. The more general issue of definition of IES research priorities and the use of UNU assessment funding to launch appropriate research directions await further debacle, deliberation, and decision within the University of Khartoum.

Existence of a "credibility gap" between the resource-use objectives of planners and traditional livelihood systems was a recurrent theme throughout the workshop. Sometimes seen as a communications problem between ethno-science and techno-science, two aspects of the problem were identified:
(a) perception differences, where different objectives and needs, each rational from its own perspective, lead to financial inefficiencies and losses, environmental degradation, administrative snafus, and social disruptions; and
(b) problems of institutional structure selection, where traditional control mechanisms are inadequately and ineffectually replaced by new systems.

Nomadic pastoralists were an oft-cited example of the problems of livelihood groups encountering rapid economic, political, and social pressures, but the experience could be extended to other livelihoods as well. The critical need to pay careful attention to indigenous aspirations and perspectives, administrative structures and control mechanisms, and to integrate them into the planning process, cannot be overemphasized.

Health problems for both scattered and concentrated populations attracted much attention. Water scarcity leading to competition for an overlapping use of existing supplies was one problem noted. Equally significant were periodic breakdowns of water delivery systems and the difficulties that they caused in protecting users from disease. Both impacts and alternative solutions merit research.

The need to pay careful attention to the conservation of basic dryland resources was also much discussed. Vegetative and soil resources claimed the spotlight. Not only had traditional constraints preventing environmental degradation ceased to operate, but existing environmental legislation was also not being applied effectively. Evidence that yields were everywhere declining and that this was a measure of the dissipation of basic resource endowments led to pessimistic appraisals of specific development projects and of the more general land management strategies employed so far. The role of wind in accelerating erosion, problems with fuel-wood supply, administrative difficulties in managing irrigation projects with consequent increases in salinity, rain-dependent agriculture based on windfall profits at the expense of mining soil nutrients, abandonment of fallow cycles, and others all painted a picture of gloom and impending crisis. In contrast, some hopeful signs were noted. Plant breeding to resist the effects of salinization offered prospects for yield improvements. The possibility of making greater use of trees for crops and forage through the transfer of simple technology, possibly based on experience built up in these matters by the Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), India, was another promising solution. Equally important was the research and management experience accumulated in Egypt, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Third World. In all such conservation issues, the critical factor of adequate extension work that translates new and improved techniques into resource-user adoption was stressed.

As a final thought on research contributions, the need to maintain an historical perspective on contemporary issues was emphasized. Although problems may alter in both kind and scale and the solutions presented to deal with them vary over time, much can be learned from a study of past conditions. Meroite development of hafirs, or the impact of brick-making kilns on devegetation and sand dune mobility provide valuable perspectives on contemporary development opportunities and problems. Inclusion of an appropriate historical perspective in interdisciplinary research designs was considered to be an important need.

Training opportunities

Training programme possibilities and needs were discussed at several points during the workshop. Both the M.Sc. course envisaged by IES and the UNU fellowship programme were given careful attention. The University of Khartoum was particularly interested in environmentally based training programmes for Sudanese post-graduates administered through IES. In keeping with its mission to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience across national frontiers, UNU Fellows are almost invariably supported at institutions outside their own country. These fellowships, which usally run for six to nine months but may extend beyond, would enable selected Sudanese to pursue advanced training at overseas institutions, for example CAZRI in India. Similarly, a small number of non Sudanese UNU Fellows might be engaged in a course of study at IES. But limited UNU funds, as well as the structural requirements of its programme, make it impossible to underwrite a substantial training programme involving large numbers of students.

Nonetheless, there was widespread feeling that training to increase access to information and experience developed outside the Sudan and to improve awareness of environmental problems was essential. A number of caveats were offered as essential to the success of any training programme. The need for a formal structure culminating in a certificate or diploma was viewed as important to lend credence to the programme and to provide adequate incentive. A separate structure not tied to existing faculty divisions was also emphasized as essential if training programmes were to develop an interdisciplinary character. The use of basic field sites in which to carry out training activities was mentioned, especially if these sites were the same or closely linked to those in which basic research and monitoring were taking place. Linking research and training intimately seemed important to many participants. Periodic evaluation of the programme in terms of content, effectiveness, and comparison to programmes conducted elsewhere should be an integral part of the training effort.

Most commentators on training needs stressed the existence of a communications gap between local people and planning and implementing agencies. The critical need to devise training programmes that would bridge this gap and bring existing knowledge to bear on management problems was stressed. The underlying assumption that adequate technical knowledge and land management techniques already existed and could be readily transferred, were it not for social obstacles, was unchallenged during the workshop. Problems of extension were raised repeatedly; local people had difficulties absorbing new methods, but the teachers of these methods had equal problems transmitting the desired techniques in ways that were comprehensible and meaningful. Moreover, considerable ecological problems were associated with the development process. The possibility of holding short (two- or three-week) certificate workshops on ecological problems and principles was one suggestion raised as a way to increase awareness of potential adverse effects. Similarly, the need to develop longer formal course programmes that would prepare development officials for specific tasks, bridge communication gaps, increase sensitivity to alternative perceptions of the environment and resourceuse, improve dryland management capabilities, and disseminate methodologies for increasing the involvement of local people in the development process, ail received priority attention.

A crucial ingredient in training programmes is the linkage between IES and government agencies. The workshop considered this a critical and sensitive area. Including government representatives on the IES board is a first step to wards ensuring that IES programmes possess practical relevance. A delicate balance between preserving freedom to pursue research and training while at the same time being responsive to government needs requires careful consideration of the political context within which IES programmes must operate. In practical terms, the training issue is two fold:

(a) How can government officials be made aware of the environmental implications of their decisions without IES appearing to pose a hostile challenge to their competence and authority?
(b) Can IES training and research be sufficiently practical (without losing scholarly integrity) to relate meaning fully to administrative concerns?

Because large numbers of University of Khartoum graduates were employed in governmental positions, it was felt that sufficient good-will and mutuality of interest existed on which to establish successful training programmes.

Information linkages

Supportive linkages between the University of Khartoum and other institutions, both within the dryland area and in industrialized countries, received considerable attention. Reports on the activities of several research and training programmes were made by several participants.

The Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI) in Jodphur, India, was cited as an active research enterprise in a climatic zone homologous to that of the Sudan. Although several other Indian institutes also deal with specific aspects of dryland development, such as sheep and wool production or salinization problems, CAZRI is the most comprehensive institution engaged in studying resource assessment and utilization. In addition, it is involved in a number of desertification studies with international agencies such as UNEP and UNRISD. CAZRI also possesses considerable experience in the field of technology transfer, an enterprise with both successes and failures. This experience might provide valuable lessons to other countries, just as their insights would be helpful to India.

Also noted was the global wisdom of dryland management enshrined in the United Nations Conference on Desertification Action Plan. This plan represented a compilation of generally accepted strategies by means of which dryland degradation could be controlled and reversed. The antidesertification struggle will continue to be co-ordinated by a small unit in UNEP. This unit will maintain an information centre and publish a Desertification Control Bulletin in order to keep workers in the field in touch with the most recent developments. To a considerable extent desertification processes represented a failure to apply existing knowledge appropriately. Thus, the strengthening of extension capabilities by drawing field staff, university researchers, and government research units into closer collaboration was an important extension of the antidesertification effort.

Efforts to delineate the base line from which changing trends could be observed was also part of any dryland management programme. This could be accomplished in a number of ways, and the Swansea-University of Khartoum Joint Research Project was cited as one such mechanism. The linkage between the two institutions arose out of long-term personal contacts between academic staff and was formed under the sponsorship of the Inter-University Council for Higher Education Overseas. Both training in England and in the Sudan and co-operative research in a study area north of Khartoum and west of the Nile, as far as the Wadi cl-Milk, are being undertaken. The studies are comprehensive in scope and are designed both to assess the present situation and trend and to recommend remedial action where appropriate. This long-term, periodically evaluated, co-operative research provides one model for inter-institutional linkages.

A different model is provided by the Research Centre on Development in Tropical Dry Areas at the University of Rouen. An array of case study sites throughout Francophone Africa is being investigated by a team of researchers. This research emphasizes the relationship between agriculturalists and pastoralists and the impact of drought on traditional livelihood strategies and development schemes. Its aim is to be broadly comparative not only within West Africa but also with analogous areas in South America and India. The experience developed by this network of research studies has direct relevance to the Sudan.

Training constituted the paramount feature of the University of New South Wales Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station near Broken Hill, Australia. Partly based at the field station and partly in Sydney, courses of varying length would train present or perspective resource managers in dryland management techniques. Animal husbandry would be the focus of the programme and the characteristic features of managing physical systems would receive the bulk of the programme's attention. Use of this training model requires careful translation of land management techniques into a vernacular appropriate to particular Third World cultural contexts.


The workshop's deliberations on research priorities and training needs were extensive, thorough, and productive. These discussions formed the background for intensive deliberations by separate working groups dealing with research and training respectively. The reports of the working parties were formally presented to the workshop as a whole and culminated in a series of recommendations.

Research priorities: themes and topics

In considering research priorities for the UNU-University of Khartoum Joint Programme in the assessment of the application of knowledge to arid lands problems, the workshop focused its attention on assessment studies rather than on basic research. Integral to the joint programme, these assessment studies constitute only a portion of IES research interests in dryland management. Identification of problem areas and obstacles in the implementation of existing knowledge from an action-oriented, field perspective was the initial focus of discussion. Particular attention was paid to the following general themes:
(a) conservation of resources,
(b) community acceptance of new ideas,
(c) differences in perception of resources,
(d) administrative structures and the linkages between plans and action, and
(e) the flow of research information.

To the extent that existing knowledge was not being utilized, two types of barriers were noted (a)situations where knowledge existed but was not translated into action; and
(b) settings where knowledge was applied but either was not working or had produced unanticipated, and generally undesired, results. A broadly based interdisciplinary approach was suggested as necessary to an understanding of these problems.

Turning to a consideration of specific research priority areas, participants considered the implications for research derived from papers presented and discussions held at the workshop. Discussion concentrated upon isolating problems for which solutions existed, but which had not been implemented or had failed to achieve anticipated results. On this basis four specific topic areas were identified as being of high priority for research, although this list should not be viewed as exhaustive. It was assumed in preparing the list that the physical and biological processes operating in the drylands were adequately understood and that the major uncertainties were found in social system behaviour. It is expected that University of Khartoum faculty members will formulate detailed research proposals for submission through appropriate channels by early 1979, and that a modest number of studies (four to eight) will be selected and initiated by April 1979.

The workshop recommends that attention be given to the following research topics within the priority areas:
(a) Obstacles to the application of appropriate conservation measures in the development of drylands. Both traditional systems of cultivation and grazing and capital intensive farming schemes merit attention. An example of the specific type of study envisaged might be the failure to reduce soil erosion due to inappropriate following and ploughing techniques in dryland mechanized farming.
(b) Obstacles to community acceptance of government supported changes in dryland management, with specific reference to differences in perception between groups of potential resource-users. For example, the problem might tee attacked initially by examining the reasons for an observed gap between projected and realized resource-users performance in development projects.
(c) How administrative structure affects the development and conservation of drylands at the rural community level in terms of local government reform and conservation. Loss of control over resource management and conservation that takes place when traditional structures lose their effectiveness and are incompletely replaced by new administrative arrangements is one example of this problem area.
(d) Improvement in the flow and exchange of information vital to research, training, and planning. Aspects of this research topic needing specific attention are
-the contribution of environmental monitoring to resources planning in the Sudan; a study in this area should take a broad view on the integration of physical, biological, and social data into the planning process; inclusion of an historical perspective on contemporary problems is particularly relevant; and
-the flow of research information relating to physical, biological, and social processes in the dryland areas of the Sudan; assessment of linkages within and between agencies in the Sudan, and between Sudanese, foreign, and international institutions should be undertaken.

Training UNU Fellows in arid lands management

The Institute of Environmental Studies proposed M. Sc. programme and the UNU fellowship programme formed the starting point for discussion on training needs in the United Nations University-University of Khartoum Joint Programme. There was general agreement that the joint programme should be at the post-graduate level, should be for short. periods (usually not more than 12 months), and should have an action-oriented and in-service character. Generally, participants should come from an employment position to which they return and in which they make use of the knowledge and experience gained during training. Moreover, in order to provide feedback to the training course, participants should write a report (six months after their return) evaluating the usefulness and relevance of the training they received to their duties at home. It was agreed that the IES M.Sc. programme, when formally constituted, would provide a context for the formal instruction of UNU Fellows, and that it would be included, after suitable consultation and advice, in different ways, as appropriate to the needs and objectives of the Fellows. However, the general guidelines for the Joint Programme training were clear:
(a) to strengthen the professional and managerial abilities of the participants; and
(b) to inculcate an interdisciplinary approach and perspective to solving the environmental and managerial problems encountered.

With these general criteria in mind the workshop recommended:
(a) that a training co-ordinator from IES design a course of training for UNU Fellows and that Fellows sent to the University of Khartoum work within the context of the Joint Programmer
(b) that the terms of reference for this course should be
- the Fellow's academic standard,
- the Fellow's previous training and experience,
- the Fellow's current and future responsibilities,
- a duration of training agreed upon by the University of Khartoum and the United Nations
University, and
- the experience and resources available at the IES, other faculties and institutes of the University of Khartoum, and institutions outside the Sudan;
(c) that IES identify field areas representative of dryland problems and of monitoring drylands management, and other appropriate areas of interest; the possible use of Sudanese national components in regional trans-national anti-desertification projects, as well as existing national activities, should be considered for such training sites;
(d) that the United Nations University consider approaching bilateral and other donors for assistance (both financial and in other resources) in order to strengthen the University of Khartoum's post-graduate research and training activities;
(e) that by mid-1979 the University of Khartoum identify areas in which exchange of personnel and provision of resources and equipment are needed for training and research;
(f) that the United Nations University disseminate information on activities of the UNU network with a view to limiting duplication and saving on resources and man-power;
(g) that the United Nations University request UNEP and UNDP (Sudan) to keep the IES informed about present and projected projects and to agree to the use of these projects as training grounds for UNU Fellows;
(h) that the United Nations University inform UN, international, and regional organizations of its association with the University of Khartoum, especially when such institutions might provide specialized training for UNU Fellows, and that particular attention be paid to notifying institutions in homologous climate zones in sub-Saharan Africa;
(i) that the University of Khartoum disseminate news of its association with the United Nations University within the Sudan; and
(j) that a workshop be held in late 1980 to review the Joint Programme's assessment studies, evaluate the training activities, and recommend further action.

Appendix A: agenda of the United Nations University-university of Khartoum workshop on arid lands management

22 - 26 October 1978

Sunday, 22 October
8:30 - 10:30 a.m. Opening ceremony, Friendship Hall

Professor Ali Fadl, Vice Chancellor, University of Khartoum
1. Opening Speech: Dr. Bashir Abbadi, Minister for Transport and Communications and Chairman of the Khartoum University Council, on behalf of President Nimeiri
2. Introduction: Professor Walther Manshard, Vice-Rector, Programme on the Use and Management of Natural Resources, United Nations University
3.Professor M.D. Al-Khalifa, Dean, Faculty of Science and Chairman of the Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Khartoum

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Working session, Staff Room, Faculty of Arts, University of Khartoum

Chairman: Professor W. Manshard  
  1. UNU Arid Lands Sub-programme: Professor J.A. Mabbutt, Programme Co- ordinator
  2. Higher Education in the Sudan: Professor M.O. Beshir, Dean, Graduate College, University of Khartoum

5 - 7 p.m. Arid lands management in the Sudan

Chairman: Professor M.O. Beshir
1. Dr. S. Rashid
2. Dr. A. Darrag
3. Professor A. Rapp, Lund University, Sweden and Professor H. Mensching, University of Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany
Report of the United Nations University Evaluation Mission to the Sudan

Monday, 23 October
8:30 - 10:30 a.m. Assessment studies

Professor Yusuf Fadl Hasan  
1. Dr. Douglas L. Johnson,
Clark University, USA
Management Strategies for Drylands: Available
Options and Unanswered Questions
2. M.M. Khogali,
Department of Geography,
University of Khartoum
Nomads and Their Sedentarization in the Sudan
3. Dr. Ibrahim Alam al-Din  
4. Dr. Sharaf el-Din Bannaga, Water-Health Relationships in el-Obeid Town: An Example from Urban
Khartoum Polytechnic Semi-arid Areas, Western Sudan
5. Dr. M.A. el-Rasheed,
Department of Forestry,
University of Khartoum
Soil Conservation and Land Reclamation in the Sudan

Professor H. Mensching  
1. Dr. Salih A. el-Arifi,
Department of Geography,
University of Khartoum
Some Aspects of Local Government and
Environmental Management in the Sudan
2. Dr. Yagoub Abdalla Mohammed,
Department of Geography, University of Khartoum
Impact of Improved Rural Water
Supplies on Settlement Distribution
in Western Sudan: The Case of East Kordafan and el-Fasher Districts
3. Professor H-U. Thimm,
Justus-Liebig University,
Giessen, Federal Republic of
Socio-Economic Assessment of Agricultural Development Projects in
the Sudan

5 - 8 p.m. Network and other institutional arrangements



Professor M.D. el-Khalifa  
1. Dr. G. Karrar,
Desertification to the
Desertification Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme

2. Dr. J.H. Davies,
University College,
Department of Geography,
University College,

3. Professor J. Gallais,
Countries of
Laboratoire de Recherches sur
les Regions Seches,
Rouen University, France

4. Dr. H.S. Mann,
Central Arid Zone Research
Jodhpur, India

5. Professor J.A. Mabbutt,
School of Geography,
University of New South
University of New South Wales
Kensington Australia

Relevance of the UN Plan to Combat
Khartoum Workshop on Arid Lands Management

Proposed Joint Research Project between
Swansea, and the University of Khartoum under the United
Nations University Arid Lands Sub-programme Swansea, Wales

Report on Geographical Research in Francophone
Western and Central Sahel
The Central Arid Zone Research institute,
Jodhpur, India, and Its
Relevance to the United Nations University
Network in Africa
Proposed Training Programmes in Arid Lands
Management at the
Wales, Australia

Tuesday, 24 October
6:30 a.m. Field trip to Gezira and Rahad Schemes

Breakfast at the Gezira University Lunch at Rahad Scheme Return to Khartoum about 9 p.m.

Wednesday, 25 October
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Working groups

Group A: Research projects Leader: Dr. Randall Baker
Group B: Training Leader: Dr. G. Karrar

5 - 8 p.m. Plenary session
Chairman: Professor J. A. Mabbutt
Report of the working groups
Approval of workshop reports
Vote of Thanks: M.M. Khogali

Appendix B: workshop participants

University of Khartoum
(P.O. Box 321, Khartoum, Sudan)

Dr. M.H. Abu Sin
Department of Geography
Dr. I.O. Alam al-Din

Head, Department of Geography
Dr. S.A. el-Arifi
Department of Geography

Dr. S.D. Bannaga
Department of Engineering

Professor M.O. Beshir
Dean, Graduate College

Dr. A.M. Fadl
Vice-Chancel lo

Dr. B. Fadlalla
Department of Zoology

Dr. M.A. el-Hag
School of Mathematics

Dr. A.M. Hakim
Head, Department of Archaeology

Dr. H.l. Hamid
Head, Department of Hydrology

Professor Y.F. Hassan
Dean, Faculty of Arts

Director, Institute of Asian and African Studies
Professor M.D. al-Khalifa

Dean, Faculty of Science
Chairman, Institute of Environmental Studies

M.M. Khogali
Department of Geography

Dr. A. Maghrabi
Director, Hydro-Biological Unit

Dr. Y.A. Mohamed
Department of Geography

Dr. S. el-Raba'a
Department of Geology
Dr. M.A. el-Rasheed

Director, Department of Forestry
Dr. S. el-Rashid

Director, Development Studies and Research Centre
Professor A.M. Salih

Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Science
M.T. el-Sid
Institute of Environmental Studies

Representatives of Other Sudanese Organizations

Dr. B. Abbadi
Minister for Transport and Communications
Chairman, University of Khartoum Council

Dr. A. Darrag
Director, Department of Range Management
Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Khartoum North

Dr. S.A.R. Hakim
Agricultural Research Corporation

Dr. M.O.H. el-Karouri
National Council for Research

Dr. H.A.R. Musnad
Forestry Research Institute-Soba

Dr. M.B. Nimir
Wildlife Research Division
Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Overseas Participants

Dr. P.R. Baker
School of Development Studies
University of East Anglia
Norwich, UK

J.W. Bruce
The Ford Foundation
Khartoum, Sudan

Dr. H.R.J. Davies
Department of Geography
University College
Swansea, Wales, UK

Professor J. Gallais
Centre de Recherche sur le Developpement et
Amenagement Regional
University of Rouen
Mont-Saint-Aignan, France

Professor D. L. Johnson
Program for International Development and Social Change
Clark University
Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. G. Karrar
Secretariat, United Nations Conference on Desertification
Nairobi, Kenya

Professor J.A. Mabbutt
School of Geography
University of New South Wales
Kensington, N.S.W., Australia

Dr. H.S. Mann
Director, Central Arid Zone Research Institute
Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Professor Horst Mensching
Institut für Geographie und Wirtschaftsgeographie
University of Hamburg
Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany

Professor Anders Rapp
Department of Physical Geography
Lund University
Lund, Sweden

Professor H-U. Thimm
Zentrum fur regionale Entwicklungsforschung
Justus-Liebig University
Giessen, Federal Republic of Germany

The United Nations University Programme on the Use and Management of Natural Resources

Professor Walther Manshard
Vice- Rector
Lee MacDonald
Programme Officer

Appendix C: draft statutes, institute of environmental studies, university of Khartoum

(i) There is hereby constituted in the University of Khartoum an Institute of Environmental Studies.
(ii) The Institute so constituted shall function as an interdisciplinary platform for research, teaching, and training in environmental studies affiliated to the Faculty of Science.

2. Definitions
In this Statute, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words and expressions shall have the meaning assigned to hereunder:

(i) "Institute" shall mean the Institute of Environmental Studies.
(ii) "Board" shall mean the Board of the institute of Environmental Studies.
(iii) "Academic Committee" shall mean the Academic Committee of the Institute of Environmental Studies.
(iv) "Director" shall mean the Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies.
(v) "Programme Co-ordinator" shall mean leader of a team working on a certain problem or project.

3. Objectives
Without prejudice to the functions and powers of the Council, Senate, Faculty Boards, University departments and units, the objectives of the Institute shall be:

(i) to promote, co-ordinate and disseminate information about research, teaching, and training in environmental studies concerning the conservation, use, and management of natural resoruces especially at the national and regional level;
(ii) to encourage and promote interdisciplinary research projects based on teamwork independently, or with other University departments and units, and to constitute the initial platform for multidisciplinary ret search for the Graduate College.
(iii) to co-operate with all persons, institutions, and other bodies interested in its fields of studies and to establish regular contacts with the same whenever that is deemed desirable, especially with the National Committee on Environment of the Sudan;
(iv) to offer post-graduate studies leading to higher degrees,
(v) to offer a programme of training to develop the skills and capabilities necessary for practical studies of environmental problems, and to give deplomas and certificates;
(vi) to assist and advise in the teaching of environmental studies in other University departments and units;
(vii) to introduce full-time study leading to an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies in the University of Khartoum;
(viii) to establish a documentation centre for environmental studies of national and regional interest;
(ix) to promote further understanding of environment through holding conferences, workshops, and public lectures;
(x) to publish the data resulting from projects or work undertaken under its jurisdiction;
(xi) to undertake study contracts on projects with concerned Government and private agencies;
(xii) to establish research units, centres, or outpost stations, etc. found desirable for the implementation of the objectives of the Institute.

4. Constitution of the Board of the Institute
(i) The Institute shall have a governing board to be known at the Board of the Institute of Environmental Studies.
(ii) The Board shall consist of the following:
(1) the Dean, Faculty of Science (Chairman);
(2) the Vice-Chancellor or his Deputy;
(3) the Dean of the Graduate College;
(4) Representatives of Faculties-5 from Science, 4 from Agriculture, 3 from Engineering, 2 from Economics and Social Studies, 2 from Medicine, 2 from Veterinary Science, 1 from Education, 1 from Law, 2 from Arts, namely Geography and Archaeology;
(5) the Director of the Institute of Animal Production;
(6) the Director of the School of Mathematical Sciences;
(7) the Director of the Development Studies an Research Centre;
(8) all Programme Co-ordinators;
(9) four persons engaged in environmental problems in other Government Departments or other relevant bodies elected by the Board for are newable period of two years;
(10) the Secretary of the National Committee on Environment, N.C.R.;
(11) the Director of the Department of Meteorology;
(12) the Under-secretary for National Resources or his representative;
(13) the Director of the Institute (Secretary).

5. Duties and Functions of the Board of the Institute
Without prejudice to the powers of the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor, the Council, and the Senate, the Board shall:
(i) formulate the general policy of the Institute and approve plans drawn up by the Academic Committee;
(ii) advise the Vice-Chancellor on the budget and financing of the activities of the Institute and to allocate funds for its disposal;
(iii) review periodically the research, studies, teaching, and training activities of the Institute;
(iv) co-ordinate the activities of the Institute with relevant local and foreign agencies;
(v) create or recommend administrative arrangements and form committees necessary for the functioning of the Institute;
(vi) render an annual report on the activities of the Institute to the Senate and Council through the Chairman of the Board; and
(vii) meet at least twice a year.

6. Constitution of the Academic Committee There shall be established an Academic Committee of the Institute which shall consist of the following:
(i) the Director of the Institute (Chairman);
(ii) all Programme Co-ordinators:
(iii) three members from within the University elected by the Academic Committee from among those engaged in the activities of the Institute, each from a different Faculty, for a period of two years; these members shall be eligible for re-appointment;
(iv) three members from outside the University elected by the Academic Committee from among those engaged in the activities of the Institute, for a period of two years; these members shall be eligible for ret appointment;
(v) any co-opted members, without having the right to vote.

7. Duties and Functions of the Academic Committee
The Academic Committee shall:

(i) advise the Board of the Institute on academic matters pertaining to research, studies, teaching, and training in the Institute;
(ii) decide on matters concerning teaching, courses, syllabi, examinations and degrees, diplomas or certificates and present them to the Senate through the Board of the Institute;
(iii) help and advise the Director in carrying out the Policy of the Institute as laid down by the Board of the Institute;
(iv) prepare section programmes and over-all programme proposals for the Board; (v) select persons for research programmes and projects and to organize inservice training; (vi) meet at least once a month during session.

8. The Director
There shall be a Director of the Institute who shall be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University in consultation with the Chairman of the Institute for a period of three years and who may be eligible for re-appointment with such conditions and terms of service as may be prescribed in accordance with the University statutes.

9. Duties and Functions of the Director
Without prejudice to the functions of the Board of the Institute and the Academic Committee the Director shall:
(i) be in general academic and administrative charge of the Institute and the execution of its policy subject to the directives of the Board;
(ii) be responsible for the submission of the annual budget proposals after consultation with the Academic Committee to the Board;
(iii) ensure that funds allocated for the Institute are spent on the programmes approved by the Board of the institute and in accordance with the approved estimate;
(iv) submit a bi-annual progress report to the Board;
(v) be responsible, through the Chairman of the Board, to the Vice-Chancellor for the discharge of his administrative duties and functions;
(vi) appoint Programme Co-ordinators in consultation
with the Academic Committee subject to approval by the Chairman of the Board;
(vii) carry out any other functions assigned by the Board.

10. Finance of the Institute
The activity of the institute shall, subject to the advice of the Board and in accordance with the financial regulation of the University of Khartoum, be financed out of income received from the following sources:
(i) University of Khartoum;
(ii) grants and donations;
(iii) fees paid for work carried out by the Institute; (iv) any possible return from activities carried out by the Institute.

Appendix D: syllabus details for proposed M.Sc. programmes in environmental studies at the university of Khartoum

Compulsory Core Subjects

First semester

Principles of environmental science
Applied climatology and geomorphology
Integrated ecology
Remote sensing and cartography
Production technology and engineering
Methods of environmental research
One optional subject

Second semester

Environmental management and planning
Applied rural sociology
Environmental and resource law
Community health and demography
Environmental economics
Methods of environmental research and assessment, including environmental case studies
One optional subject

Options and Relevant Subjects of Study

Fresh water eco-systems management

Limnology and fisheries
Hydrology and water resources management
Soil and water conservation
Range and wildlife management

Arid land management

Marginal land use
Environmental forestry
Soil and water conservation
Range and wildlife management

Coastal zone management

Oceanography and marine eco-systems
Hydrology and water resource management
Minerals and energy resource management
Industrial and urban water-use

Urban and regional management

Environmental health, including pollution
Minerals and energy resource management

Industrial and urban water-use

Details of the Syllabus

First semester

Principles of environmental science (30 hours of lectures). Logic of the course; biophysical systems; socio-economic systems; history of man and the environment; emergence of agriculture; man, resources, and technology; population growth; environmental impacts of development; environmental perception; natural hazards.

Applied climatology and geomorphology (15 hours of lectures and 15 hours practical). Basic concepts; energy flows; storage; moisture; mass flows; basic transformations; budgeting techniques; techniques of application at macro and micro levels; problems of desertification; irrigation and crop growth; impact of man-made structures of fluvial and marine processes; properties of soils; other man-made impacts.

Integrated ecology (30 hours of lectures and excursions). Principles of ecology; eco-system structure; bio-geochemical cycles; population dynamics; competition; predation; dispersion; dispersal; ecological genesis and evolution; animal-plant interaction; food chains; biotic communities; ecological successions.

Remote sensing and cartography (10 hours of lectures and 20 hours practical). Basic physics of remote sensing; remote sensing technology, including multi-spectral scanning; Sudanese and world coverage; interpretation of remotesensing data; resolution of surface details; ground verification surveys; use and interpretation of aerial photographs; presentation of data and maps; choropleth and isopleth maps; cartographic graphics; basic properties of maps and their interpretation; computer mapping; topographic and resource maps of the Sudan.

Production technology and engineering (30 hours of lectures). World food demand; protein and calorie needs; constraints on agricultural production; Green Revolution; agriculture in the Sudan and Africa; irrigation and dam construction; world fisheries; fisheries in the Sudan and Africa; fishery management; resources of the Sudan and Africa in timber, minerals, and fuels; principles of forestry; forest production in the Sudan and Africa; mineral production; mining and the environment; power production and the environment; history of industrial growth; industry and the environment; processes in chemical engineering; appropriate technology; urban growth; housing; transport planning.

Methods of environmental research (30 hours of lectures). The importance of quantitative methods in the solution of environmental problems; basic mathematics; calculus; differentiation; matrix algebra; descriptive statistics; introduction to probability theory; frequency distribution and dispersion; tests of hypothesis and significance; chi-square and student t-tests; non-parametric tests; correlation and regression.

Second semester

Environmental management end planning (15 hours of lectures and 15 hours practical). Basic concepts; physical, socio-political, and economic approaches to management problems; multiple-objective and multiple-solution planning; integrated management approach; planning models; institutional factors affecting planning and management in the Sudan; applications to watersheds, arid lands, and urban environmental management and planning; impact assessment as a planning tool.

Applied rural sociology (20 hours of lectures and 10 hours practical). Theories of rural society; structure and process in Sudanese rural society; perception and attitude towards health, environmental hazards, innovation, adaption, resistance, and diffusion; processes and patterns of migration in the Sudan; nomadism; social impact assessment of programmes and policies and their mitigation; implications for planners; participatory planning and management; investigative techniques.

Environmental and resource law (20 hours of lectures). Principles of law; basis of Sudanese Law; customary and traditional law; Islamic law; land-use law and land tenure; water-use rights; forest law; mineral resources law; fishery regulations; laws relating to pollution, health, and safety regulations in factories; international law; law of the sea; effects of environmental regulations on trade.

Community health and demography (20 hours of lectures and 5 hours practical). Population geography; demographic principles; population projections; population control and family planning; concepts of health and environment; introduction to infectious diseases; principles of epidermiology; enteric diseases; cholera; safe water supply; case studies of smallpox, malaria, and schistosomiasis; organization of community health services; carcinogens; health hazards of heavy metals and pesticides; food hygiene.

Environmental economics (25 hours of lectures and 20 hours practical). Nature of economics; allocation of resources; micro-economic theory; supply and demand; decision theory (case studies from agriculture); common property problems; fishery economics; cost-benefit and cost effectiveness analysis; project evaluation (case studies); economics of land-use; resource depletion and conservation; economics of pollution control.

Methods of environmental research and assessment-including environmental case studies (35 hours). Linear programming; environmental modeling; research techniques; experimental design; sampling and data acquisition; questionnaire design; case studies.

Details of Optional Subjects

Fresh water eco-systems management

Limnology and fisheries (45 hours). Introductory limnology; water productivity; biotic communities; Nile eco-system; Weld ecology; ichthyology systematics; fishery management; principles of fish culture; methods of fishing and preservation.

Hydrology and water resources management (45 hours). The hydrological cycle; precipitation; evaporation and evapotranspiration; infiltration; storage; run-off; ground water; sediment transport; water-use (irrigation, industry, domestic, navigation, fisheries, recreation); sources of water (precipitation, lakes, rivers, ground water, swamps, re-use, desalination); conservation of water quality (in irrigation, industry and domestic use); introduction to optimization and water resources management.

Soil and wafer conservation (45 hours). Soil formation; horizon development; soil genesis; soil classification; the catena concept; water movement in soils; soil structure; nutrient properties of soils; salinization; soil capability evaluation.

Range and wildlife management (45 hours). Range ecosystems (soils and vegetation); range land-use; carrying capacities; animal husbandry; animal diseases; concept of wildlife conservation; population levels of various species; interactions and seasonal migrations; hunting and harvesting of wildlife; socio-economic aspects of wildlife; future of wildlife in the Sudan.

Arid lands management

Marginal land use (45 hours). Definitions; climatic and manmade hazards; soil and plant degradation; cultural evolution of arid lands; adaptive approaches to arid land use in the Sudan; reclamation policies, strategies, and techniques.

Environmental forestry (45 hours). Forestry and the environment; shelter belts; wind-breaks; use of trees in rehabilitation of land; amenity trees; urban green space and country parks; interaction of forestry with other land-uses; forests and problems of energy supply; community forests; forest production and concept of sustained yield; silvicultural systems; institutional aspects of forestry and national forest policies.

Soil and wafer conservation. As under "Fresh water ecosystems management."

Range and wildlife management.As under "Fresh water eco-systems management."

Coastal zone management

Oceanography and marine eco-systems (45 hours). Introduction to oceanography; environmental factors and methods of measurement; water movements; salinity; regional oceanography; up-welling; the Red Sea; the seashore; mangrove swamps; coral reefs; coastal fisheries; pelagic fisheries.

Hydrology and water resources management.As under "Fresh water eco-systems management."

Minerals and energy-resource management.Under preparation.

Industrial and urban water use (45 hours). Sources and problems of obtaining water; use and re-use; water quality; water planning for future needs.

Urban and regional management

Environmental health, including pollution (45 hours). (Partly under preparation.) Sources of pollution; natural geological sources; mining; agriculture; domestic and industrial solid and liquid wastes; atmospheric pollution; vibration and noise; effects of pollution on health; water-borne diseases; effects of pollution on agriculture and wildlife; damage to buildings; measurement and monitoring of pollutants; chemical, physical, biological, and remote-sensing; surveys and statistical patterns; control and abatement; methods of treatment; control policy and legislation.

Transport (45 hours). Problems of urban and rural transportation in developing countries; relationship of transportation to land-use; environmental impacts of transportation; economics of transportation systems; integrated transportation planning.

Minerals and energy resource management.As under "Coastal zone management."

Industrial and urban water use. As under "Coastal zone management."

Appendix E: selected list of books and monographs published by the central arid zone research institute, Jodhpur, India


Ganguly, J.K., and R.N. Kaul.1969. Wind Erosion Control. New Delhi: ICAR. 57 pp.
Kaul, R.N., ed. 1970. Afforestation in Arid Zones. The Hague: Dr. W. Junk, 435 pp.


Raheja, P.C. 1961. Double Cropping. ICAR Research Series No. 8 New Delhi. 32 pp.
---. 1961. Water Requirements of Indian Field Crops ICAR Research Series No. 28. New Delhi. 25 pp.
---. 1966. Soil Productivity and Crop Growth. Bombay: Asia Publishing House. 474 pp.


Shankarnarayan, K.A., and P.M. Dabadghao.1973. The Grass Cover of India. New Delhi: ICAR. 713 pp.

Natural resources and ecology

Gupta, R.K. 1971. Planning Natural Resources New Delhi: Navyug Traders. 269 pp.
---. and 1. Prakash, eds.1975. Environmental Analysis of the Thar Desert. Dehradun: English Book Depot. 484 pp.
Sen,A.K.1972. Agricultural Atlas of Rajasthan. New Delhi: ICAR. 51 pp.


Barnett, S.A., and 1. Prakash. 1975. Rodents of Economic Importance in India. New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann. 175 pp.
Fitzwater, W.D., and 1. Prakash.1973. Handbook of Vertebrate Pest Control. New Delhi: ICAR. 92 pp.
Prakash, l., and P.K. Ghosh, eds. 1975. Rodents in Desert Environments.The Hague: Dr. W. Junk. 624 pp.

Combating desertification

Garg, H.P.1975. Solar Energy Utilization Research. CAZRI Monograph No. 3.48 pp.
ICAR. 1977. Desertification and Its Control. New Delhi. 358 pp.
Malhotra, S.P.1978. Socio-Economic Structure of the Population in Arid Rajasthan. CAZRI Technical Bulletin No.3.51 pp.
Mann, H.S. 1977. Desert Ecosystem and Its Improvement CAZRI Monograph No. 1. 390 pp.
Muthana, K.D.1977. Improved Techniques for Tree Plantations in the Arid Zone. CAZRI Technical Bulletin No. 2. 22 pp.
Pal, S.K.1977. White Grubs and Their Management. CAZRI Monograph No. 5.30 pp.
Prakash,I.1975. Proceedings of Summer Institute on Rodentology. CAZRI Monograph No. 2. 365 pp.
---.1976. Rodent Pest Management Principles and Practices CAZRI Monograph No. 4. 28 pp.
---. 1977. The Amazing Life in the Indian Desert. CAZRI Monograph No. 6. 18 pp.
Sen, A.K. 1978. Land Use Classification System in the Indian Arid Zone. CAZRI Monograph No. 9. 43 pp.
Shankarnarayan, K.A.1977. Proceedings of the Summer Institute on Resource Inventory and Land Use Planning. CAZRI Monograph No. 8. 373 pp.
Singh, R.P.1976. Improved Dryland Agriculture for Westem Rajasthan. CAZRI Technical Bulletin No.1. 28 pp.
Surendra Singh.1977. Geomorphological Investigations of the Rajasthan Desert CAZRI Monograph No. 7. 44 pp.

Appendix F: content of training programmes in arid lands management proposed by the university of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia

Climate studies

Meteorology and climatology with special reference to arid zones (K);* recording of meteorologic data, including bigclimatic and soil-climatic elements (K, F); handling and analysis of climatic data (K, B. F).

Surface hydrology

Surface hydrologic processes and sediment transport in arid zones (K); field measurement of run-off, stream flow and sediment transport (F); data handling and analysis (B. F).

Groundwater hydrology

Hydro-geology of arid environments (K); field studies,including field mapping (F); groundwater investigations, including water quality (F) and data handling and analysis (B).

Management of water resources

Conservation of water (K); design and construction of surface storages (K, F); conjunctive use of surface and sub-surface water (K); augmentation of run-off and water harvesting (K); minor irrigation practices (K); evaporation suppression (K).

Field engineering for water management (F. B)

Surveying and setting out for minor constructions; excavation techniques and plant; soil-testing, compaction and related treatments (sealing); concrete for arid environments; scour protection; construction for minor irrigation, water harvesting, etc.

Soils studies

Pedology with particular reference to arid-zone soils (K); soil-water relations and soil-nutrient and soil-salinity problems (K); weathering of rocks and soil development, including engineering properties of soils, under arid conditions (K); field pedological studies, including soils mapping and measurement of soil moisture, soil nutrients, salinity, etc. (F); laboratory methods in pedology (K, F).

Soil conservation and reclamation

Degradational soil processes in arid areas, including accelerated wind and water erosion, sealing, scalding, secondary salinization, and alkalization (K); methods of soil conservation and reclamation appropriate to arid areas (K); field methods of soil conservation and reclamation, including revegetation of denuded areas (K, F); field methods of stabilization of loose sand surfaces (F).

Vegetation studies

Vegetation studies, with emphasis on arid-zone vegetation and range-land ecology (K); field investigations of pattern, process, and productivity in range-lands, in relation to grazing (F); laboratory and herbarium methods (B. F).

Animal ecology

Components of an arid environment (K); ecology of sheep, goats and beef cattle in range-lands (K); ecology and physiology of native animals, other introduced species and past species (K); field experimental studies with emphasis on productivity of, and competition between, the major components of the native and introduced fauna (F).

Livestock management

Physiology, genetics, nutrition, and management of ruminants (K);
-pasture agronomy (K);
-classification and marketing of wool and meat from rangelands (K);
-agricultural economics (K);
-station practice in livestock and farm management (F);
-station management (F);
-field investigations of livestock production (F).

Range management

Range-land science (K);
-big-statistics (K);
-systems-analysis for range management (K);
-field methods for determining range-land condition and trend (F);
-establishment of trees, shrubs, and grasses (F).

Terrain evaluation, monitoring, and survey

Remote-sensing applications with particular reference to range studies, using conventional photography and multispectral, multi-temporal classification algorithms (K); topographic mapping at a range of scales; ground control and field interpretation (K, F); terrain evaluation for arid lands management (K); field practice in land evaluation (F).

Data handling

Computing (K); automated data handling in the field (B. F); organization, compilation, and maintenance of a multiple overlay spatial information system for digitally-supported analysis in relevant disciplines (K, B).

Integrated research project (F)

Appendix G: information on the research centre on development in tropical dry areas, university of Rouen, France

Laboratoire de Recherches sur les Regions Seches,
U. E. R. de Lettres,
Rue Lavoisier,
76130 Mont-Saint-Aignan, France
Tel: (35) 98-69-30

Jean Gallais, Professor of Tropical Geography

Local staff (October 1978)
Dr. Luc de Golbery, Assistant in Tropical Geography
Jerome Marie, Senior Researcher
Gerard Romier, Senior Researcher
Ann Chappuis, Senior Researcher
Jean-Pierre Choet, Senior Researcher
Regina Souza, presently in Rouen-permanent address, Brazil
Marcos Ribeiro, presently in Rouen-permanent address, Brazil

Senior researchers on field research (1978)
Dr. Alain Beauvilain, Maitre-Assistant, University of
Yaounde, Cameroon
Dr. Jean Clanet, Maitre-Assistant, University of Djamena,

Dr. Hamidou Sidikou, Head of Department of Geography,
University of Niamey, Niger
Jean Gondolo, Professor, Lycee Yaounde, Cameroon
Jeanine Le San, University of Belo-Horizonte, Brazil
Yves Gervaise, University of Belo-Horizonte, Brazil

Research in Sahelian Africa (1972 - 78)

Relationships between agriculturists and pastoralists, and traditional strategies and development schemes in the face of drought.

Current research projects (October 1978)

Jean Gallais-Long-term analysis of socio-economic trends in the central delta of Niger, Mali
Jérôme Marie-Herdsmen and cultivators of the Ossolo area, Niger
Jean Clanet-Mobility in the Central Sahel from Darfur to Manga
Alain Beauvilain-Sahelian Fulani: case studies
Hamidou Sidikou-A national metropolis faced by drought: Niamey
Jean Gondolo-Fulani urban adaptation, the case of Ngoundere, Cameroon
Ghislain and Godefroy-Urban-rural relationships in a Soudano-Sahelian traditional area: GaYa and Kwassi, Niger
Gerard Romier-Agriculturists and pastoralists in Damergu, Niger

FIG. 1. The Locations of Research Projects and Publications in Francophone Countries

Main publications ( 1972 - 78)

Beauvilain, A.1976. "Eleveurs et aménagements hydropastoraux dans le Nord Kourfeye (Niger) au cours de la récente secheresse." In Cahiers géographiques de Rouen, 6, pp. 97-110.
-. 1978. Les Peul du Dallol Bosso. Etudes Nigériennes. 273 pp.

Clanet, J. 1975. "Les éleveurs de l'Ouest Tchadien: La mobilité des éleveurs du Kanem et leurs réponses à la crise climatique de 1969-73." Rouen University. Roneoed, 278 pp.

Gallais, J.1972. "Essai sur la situation actuelle des relations entre pasteurs et paysans dans le Sahel Ouest-africain." In Etudes de Géographie Offertes à P. Gourou.

-. 1972. Les Sociétés pastorales ouest-africain face au developpement Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines No. 3.
-.1975. Pasteurs et paysans du Gourme: La condition sahélienne. CNRS, Paris. 239 pp.
-.1975. "Traditions pastorales et développement: problèmes actuels dans la région de Mopti (Mali)." In Les Sociétés pastorales en Afrique Tropicale, International African Institute, pp. 354-58.
-.1976. "Options prises ou ignorées dans les aménage. ments hydro-agricoles en Afrique Sahélienne." Cahiers géographique de Rouen, 6, pp. 77-96.
-.1976. "Contribution à la connaissance de la perception spatiale chez les pasteurs du Sahel." L'Espace géographique, pp. 6-10.

Gallais, J., ed.1977. Stratégies pastorales et agricoles des Sahéliens durant la sécheresse de 1969-74. CNRS, Bordeaux. 281 pp.

Gallais, J., and H. Sidikou. 1978. "Stratégies traditionelles prise de décision moderne et aménagement des ressources naturelles dans la zone Sahelo-Soudanienne." In Notes techniques du MAB, No. 9. Unesco, Paris.

Hervouet,1975. ''Types d'adaptations sahéliennes: L'exemple des éleveurs de la Mauritanie centrale méridionale." Rouen University. Roneoed, 307 pp.

Sidikou, H . 1974. Sédentarité et mobilité entre Niger et Zgaret Etudes Nigériennes. 249 pp.

Local monograph séries (roneoed, available for consultation in Rouen)

Brochaye.1973."LeGoronol République du Niger."
Dufourmentel. 1974."La vallée de Monguel (Mauritanie)." 227 pp.
Le Guillern. 1973. "Etude agro-pastorale de la rive droite du Niger, de Lamorde à Say." 169 pp.
Parrington. 1977. "Les Aménagements hydro-agricoles de la moyenne vallée du Sénégal." 72 pp.
Poudou.1972. "Le Pays de Tiliabéri." 150 pp.
Quinquard. 1974. "Les Systémes agro-pastoraux chez les Peul du Djelgodji (Haute-Volta)." 115 pp.


Appendix H:course outline in training for arid lands management proposed by H-U.Thimm

Permanence of cultivation-41/2 months

Environment (90 hours). Climatic conditions and influence of changes; climatology and hydrology; soils and soil fertility; soil surveys and practical assessment of soils for permanent cultivation; resource development and conservation of suitable land areas; principles of protection of the environment; desert encroachment and erosion threats; reforestation; wildlife.

Water (90 hours). Water sources for arid land-use; rain-fed cultivation; methods of rainwater harvesting; irrigation from streams and wells; reducing evaporation and seepage losses; selecting and managing efficient water-use systems; engineering aspects; tapping additional water supplies; problems of salinity.

Crops (90 hours). Natural vegetation of arid lands; introduction to subsistence and commercial crops; optimal land-use systems; shifting cultivation; mechanized farming practices; plant breeding; crop protection; crop rotation and fertilization; improved grassland use; feed crops; harvesting and post-harvest storage; fodder crops.

Livestock (90 hours). Animals in arid lands; livestock systems; carrying capacities of natural and re-seeded grasslands; integration of nomadic livestock in other land-use systems; range development planning; livestock-breeding programmes; animal health aspects; livestock take-off rates; marketing aspects; problems of livestock around large irrigated crop production schemes; over-stocking problems; improved husbandry methods.

Project organization-11/2 months

Planning and evaluation (60 hours). Public policy analysis and decision-making processes; development strategies and landuse policies; integrated rural development; planning methods; project targets and instruments; project institutions; project exploration; feasibility studies; data collection accompanying evaluation; criteria for evaluation; cost benefit analysis; private and social profitability; employment generation; settlement schemes.

Implementation (60 hours). Management and administrative principles; personnel and labour management; budgeting and financial management; time and risk factors involved; central or decentralized management; participation of the local population; additional services and infrastructure; implementation of specific projects such as irrigation schemes, block grazing, etc.; self interest of the participants.

Social acceptance-11/2 months

Social structure (60 hours). Social structure of African societies; language, race, ethnics, and stratification; population geography; demography; political and religious geography; historical development leading to present social structure; methods of social investigation; interactions of economic and social change; interactions of urban and rural change.

Local participation (60 hours). Theory and methods of political enquiry; public and development administration; public decision-making processes; conflicts and vested interests; social actions; institutions for self help; extension and community development; methods to organize the local population for development programmes; motivation incentives; responsibilities and risk involved.

Economic viability-11/2 months

Macro-economics (60 hours). International and national demand for products supplied; commodity agreements and international trade; prices and price policies; marketing structure; national and regional development plans; statis. tics and data availability; social targets; GNP and balance of payments aspects; selection of appropriate technologies; employment aspects; multi-lateral and bilateral aid programmes; international funding.

Micro-economics (60 hours). Principles of cost-benefit analysis; cost-effectiveness approach; budgeting and financing; investment decisions; accounting and cash flows; finance control and financial planning; profit and loss accounts; credit and securities; income and cost distribution between project and local participants.