Une histoire des famines au Sahel: Étude des grandes crises alimentaires (XIXe-XX Siecles)

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Paris, France: L'Harmattan


The book gives a comprehensive account of the famines and epidemics which have afflicted the Sahel through the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial eras. It sees the process of desertification as dating from between five and seven millennia ago. The extent of the time scale involved means that there are evidently lacuna and pieces of inconsistent information, along with extremely localized accounts, all of which make the greater picture harder to put together, and makes detection of cycles or trends extremely difficult. The relatively large amount of information available from the nineteenth century does not allow us to compare this with other eras. Since the late nineteenth century, there is information chronicled by colonial Europeans and the collective native memory. This is used to give an account of some of the less well known epidemics and periods of food crisis in the Sahel. The conclusion drawn is that the history of the Sahel has alternated between periods of abundance and periods of crisis. The author proposes that the periods of crisis have been longer than the periods of prosperity and offers the following formula for the relationship between hardship and recovery:


Metadata only record


Famine, Drought, Water, Historical context, Epidemic, Sahel, Variability, Ecosystem