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Famine - Essay Example

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Famine is one of these. Others include hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, among others. There have been debates over the recent past that…
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FAMINE Many at times, there are catastrophic occurances that are experienced in nature without a specific reason being attached to them. Famine is one of these. Others include hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, among others. There have been debates over the recent past that arise from the fact these natural hazards take place due to human influence. The intention of this paper is to examine famine as a natural calamity, providing a functional description. In addition to this, this paper will discuss the likelihood of famine occurance, and the consequences it has on various aspects of nature. This paper will further anayze whether famine is a seasonal happening or if it has an annual cycle, its predictability, and the steps that can be taken to prevent it,if there are any.
Famine can be described as the scarcity of food on a largescale. The functional description of famine needs to include the fact that it is a natural hazard that goes on to affect humans. Without it affecting humans, the otherwise natural disaster becomes a natural hazard. It is not a disaster when the human aspect is lacking.
Over time in history, incidences of famine have been experienced repeatdly, and in some regions more than others. This begs for one to view it as a seasonal happening. The seasonal nature of famines is attributed to there being certain human activities that augment the influence of drought. The likelihood of famine to be experienced in a region dependson a myriad of factors. These include the geographical location, policies governing food distribution, and human activities in a place. When these factors are all analyzed, the likelihood of a famine can be determined.
The effects of famine are felt by all spheres of nature, both living and non-living. Humans, plants, animals, and even property is affected by famine. Humans are by far the most affected by famine. On the event of a famine, humans are faced by starvation, malnutrition, and cases of death are reported. People waste due to lack of food, and become emaciated. Stunted, and retarded growth are also experienced by the victims of famine. Cases of diseases are increased, as individuals grow weaker and weaker due to poor nutrition. In certain instances people start fighting for the little food available, and war may result.
Plants during famine, are usually the first to die. This however, is true when the famine is due to harsh weather conditions such as drought. When the cause of the famine is other than this, plants are affected to a lesser extent. Wasting, emaciation, and groth retardation are all experienced. Domestic animals and plants are affected even when the famine is not due to weather conditions because humans are too weak to attend to them. Wild plants and animals arein contrast barely affected.
Property is affected due to the inability of human beings to cater to it. Land is the one property that is greatly affected by famine.When due to drought, famine causes productivity ofland to diminish. If the famine is a result of human activity, land and other property becomes the source of tussles among groupsof people. Property may be destroyed since no one is ready to lose property to the rival party.
Occurance of famine can be predicted. This is made possible by assesing both natural,and human trends. These include the channels of food distribution, stability of ruling regimes, and weather conditions. In cases of prolonged drought, above average rainfall and flooding, famine is deemed impending. When there is an outbreak of pests that devour crops, destroying them, there is a risk of famine. When the channels that are in place for food distribution are wanting,the risk of famine is introduced.
Since famine can be predicted, there are also ways in which it can be evaded. It is possible to avoid famine in a country by ensuring adequate food storage for emergency situations. Another move that can help in preparation for famine, is creation of channels that ensure food distribution reaches every part of the society. Improved farming practices such as irrigation, and using greenhouses can also be used facilitate food availability during harsh weather conditions.
Works Cited
Devereux, Stephen. The new famines: why famines persist in an era of globalization. New
York: Taylor & Francis, 2007.
Edkins, Jenny. Whose hunger?: concepts of famine, practices of aid. Minnesota: U of
Minnesota Press, 2000.
Pettifor, John M. and Stanley Zlotkin. Micronutrient deficiencies during the weaning period
and the first years of life. Basel: Karger Publishers, 2004. Read More
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