IntegratingTraditional and Scientific Knowledge
IntegratingTraditional and Scientific Knowledge
Therenowned Sahel drought and famine that occurred within the 1968 to1974 period left hundreds of thousands of people dead. As if notenough, there occurred other seasons of drought in the year 1977,1978 and 1980, resulting in more famine that affected the wholeworld. Questions arise on what should be done to enable Sahel toovercome the issue of drought, and hence saving the lives of itspeople. It is true that the environmental problems facing Sahel areindeed pressing, and much should be done to help the region retainits productive nature. Because Sahel is naturally a delicate areathat borders a desert and has the characteristics of unreliable rainseasons, plans should be undertaken to enable the land to startsustaining the lives of its population once again. Through theillustrations from the Sahel region, as well as the Kahi community,this script will analyze on how scientific knowledge can undergointegration with the traditional skills and knowledge to result inimproved techniques, which can lead to the better living of theaffected societies (Chattopadhyay,& Franke, 2014).
Agricultureis the renowned food production method found in the Sahel region. Thepeople from the place use the leading slash and cultivation methodwhere the farmers clear the bushes and leave them to dry anddecompose during the dry season. Later on, the burning of the fieldsenables the accumulated minerals to get scattered in the farms. Itis a fact that the burning process speeds up the decompositionprocess while at the same time ensuring minimal environmentaldamages. The millet and sorghum are the primary crops suitable forthe short, but torrential rains that tend to fall in the region.However, through the scientific skills, crops like cotton, eggplant,peppers, and mango are undergoing planting through the help ofirrigation systems (Chattopadhyay,& Franke, 2014).
Onthe other hand, the absence of the tsetse fly, as well as the drygrasslands favors the massive keeping of herds within the area. Theanimal keeping makes possible for the land, which would otherwise lieidle, to undergo maximum utilization. More so, the shifting cultureof the local communities to look for pasture due to the changing rainseasons enables the field conditions to be under great use,throughout the year. To ensure continued animal herding in such area,the medical scientists should come up with ways that will help infighting deadly diseases that are likely to put the life of thoseanimals in danger. For instance, insecticides should be introduced inthe region to prevent ticks and other deadly insects from attackingthe cattle and other animals. In this way, science will be workinghand in hand to improve the lives of both the herders, as well as theanimals in the Sahel region (Chattopadhyay,& Franke, 2014).
Anotheraspect of technological incorporation of the traditional knowledge isevident in the text of the story of the Kahi community, in the IndianGiversby Weatherford (2015). Previously, people remained poor for thousandsof years regardless of the presence of Romans and other Europeanpeople that owned scientific skills that would have transformed thelife of the Kahi society. However, this situation drastically changedupon the introduction of the millennia of important technologicalstability in India. The peasants changed from their traditionalskills of working in agricultural fields, into working in thefactories. Their homesteads and other places got illuminated withelectricity. Also, there was the replacement of their animal form oftransport, to the use of bicycles, trucks, as well as tractors.Additionally, they incorporated the new scientific knowledge intotheir culinary styles, as well as in the way they built their houses.Their lifestyle changed upon the incorporation of the new scientificskills and knowledge (Weatherford, 2015).
Suchillustration story by the Kahi community is real evidence that ourmodern world might be having significant resources that can readilyundergo utilization improving the lives of the affected communities,yet the available scientific practitioners fail to take it seriously.Agricultural technology should be of use in drought-stricken areasusing irrigation, and other modern agricultural skills in betteringthe lives of the affected communities through mass production offood. However, the move can only be possible if the traditionalforms of farming, as well as the new scientific forms of agriculture, are combined to come up with much better knowledge of farming thatwill overcome the adverse weather conditions that negatively affectcrop growth.
Intensiveresearch regarding possible development results of the herder-farmerform of integration leading to adequate food production and lessexploitation of the society seems to be of less interest to themodern scientific developers in the world. However, if wellintegrated, the scientific knowledge can undergo integration withthat of the existing traditional methods to come up with bettermethods of food production, as well as the environmentalimprovements. It is evident that the research sheds some light to thepossible future integration of these two techniques for betterresults. I am of the opinion that the mixing of the two forms ofknowledge will work for the good of the animals, land, as well as thegeneral population of the Sahel population just like theintroduction of the scientific skills lead to better living standardsof the Kahi community.
Chattopadhyay,S., & Franke, R. W. (2014). Strivingfor the sustainability: The environmental stress and
democraticinitiatives in Kerala.New Delhi: Concept Pub. Co.
Weatherford,J. M. I. (2015). IndianGivers: How Indians of Americas transformed the
world.New York: Fawcett Books.