Desertification in the Sahel

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Where is the Sahel
The zone between the Sahara desert and the more fertile lands further south. The area runs from the Atlantic to the Horn of Africa
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The Sahel icludes parts of...
Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan and Eritrea.
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It has a population of...
over 50 million people
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'Sahel' is arabic, meaning...
shore, boarder or coast - the edge of the Sahara desert
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2 periods of drought followed by a famine...
1968-74 and 1979-84 (brought the attention of the world to this region of news images of dry lands, dying cattle and emaciated people
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These periods of poor rainfall struck particularly hard for many Sahelian farmers and pastoralists, resulting in...
an estimated 100,000 drought-related deaths
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Annual average rainfall for Sahel...
100-200mm, most of rain falling between the July and september period
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The natural vegetation...
mix of xerophytic shurbs and grasses.
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Traditional activities include...
livestock hearding, cultivation, fishing and long-distance trading
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Human activities may have contributioned to land degration, including...
Civil wars in Ethiopia Eritrea and Somalia, Population growth, Settling of the nomadic population leading to overcultivation
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These factors have led to...
a decline in vegetation and a gradual reduction in amount of moisture in the soil.
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Another factor contributing to the desertification is...
use of wood for fuel - Sahelians rarely eat uncooked food and most dishes are cooked for long periods. (The Club du Sahel estimted in 1980 that 82% of the total energy needs of a number of countries in the area was supplied by wood)
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Attempted solutions
Early-warning systems - based on remotely sensed data of veg cover and rainfall patterns. (Such a program has been developed by USAID - American aid programme (for famine early-warning system)
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Attempted solutions
encouraging farmer cooperatives, small scale non-governmental organisations (NGO) projects - eenvironmental rehabilitation, soil & water conservation and agro-forestry
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Attempted solutions
improve production technologies - higher yeilding drought resistant crops, irrigation or improved ranching and grazing schemes
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Attempted solutions
Organisations such as 'club de sahel' - its mission to help identify and address strategic medium and long-term development in West Africa
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Local schemes include...
contour stone lines - cheap & popular erosion control method - publicised by organisations such as Oxfam.
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Countour stone lines...
slow down overland flow, & capture water where it is needed by the growing crops
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan and Eritrea.

Back

The Sahel icludes parts of...

Card 3

Front

over 50 million people

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

shore, boarder or coast - the edge of the Sahara desert

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

1968-74 and 1979-84 (brought the attention of the world to this region of news images of dry lands, dying cattle and emaciated people

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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