case study desertification in Nara, Mali

case study for the causes and consequences of desertification in Nara Mali

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Case study: desertification in Nara, Mali
Background
Desertification traced back to severe drought in 1961-73
2 socio economic groups: agro pastoralists (sarakole) - sedentary, grow
crops, keep livestock and rely on direct rainfall. Nomadic pastoralists
(falani) ­ continually move livestock to find food and water.
Semi arid region of landlocked Mali
Ranked 175/178 on HDI
High food costs led to famine
Years of plentiful rainfall triggered plagues of locusts which destroyed
crops
Natural vegetation is grass and woody scrub
Causes of desertification
Human
Population growth leads to more people collecting firewood from live trees
and shrubs
Forest fires caused by human waste added to desertification and wind
erosion
To meet demands of growing population, agro and nomadic pastoralists
increased herd sizes
Population growth (120,000 (1976) to 190,000 (1996)) increased need for
food, animal feed, firewood.
Little tradition in managing pastureland- overgrazing/over cultivation leads
to decline in soil quality.
Physical
Stalinisation of groundwater occurred due to recurrent droughts
Since drought (1961-73) rainfall decreased by 30%
Mean rainfall is 378mm and potential evapo-transpiration is 4 to 5 times
higher.
No permanent rivers
Seasonal rainfall wet season (June to October) rest of year is dry. Rainfall
can be unpredictable
Consequences of desertification
Short term
Conflicts between farmers competing for land
Pastoralists have less by products like cheese to sell

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Livestock produce less milk and offspring
Long term
Overgrazing reduced plant and animal biodiversity
Increased incidence of poverty and famine
Wildlife has disappeared (rabbit and antelopes used to be a good food
source for people)…read more

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