The sahel

The number of people in need of food assistance reached 5. The region is a canary in the coalmine; a presage of what is to come in other vulnerable parts of the world. When herders arrive too early or stay too long — violence is likely to follow. Regional deterioration Sahelian countries experienced unprecedented levels of organized violence in Instead, thousands of civilians from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria are killed every year in bloody inter-communal violence.

Sahel plants

The difference between the dry North with higher levels of soil nutrients and the wetter South with more vegetation, is utilized by having the herds graze on high quality feed in the North during the wet season, and trek several hundred kilometers to the South to graze on more abundant, but less nutritious feed during the dry period. They tend to focus on spectacular atrocities, such as a truck bomb in in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, that killed almost people. A geographically and climatically correct meaning for an area bordered to the north by the Sahara Desert and to the south by the savannahs and jungles of the Gulf of Guinea and Central Africa. These two states coexisted uneasily, but were quite stable. And with good reason. Trade routes of the western Saharan Desert c. But this symbiosis is crumbling. The larger species have been greatly reduced in number by over-hunting and competition with livestock, and several species are vulnerable Dorcas gazelle, cheetah, lion and red-fronted gazelle , endangered Dama gazelle and African wild dog , or extinct the Scimitar-horned oryx is probably extinct in the wild , and both Pelorovis and the Bubal hartebeest are now extinct. Severe drought and famine again afflicted the Sahel in —85, and desertification progressed despite some government reforestation programs. Regardless of the droughts, poor resource exploitation practices have been determinants of land degradation. Niger registered a tripling of protests and riots and rising border violence in Regional deterioration Sahelian countries experienced unprecedented levels of organized violence in In Cameroon special forces trained by the West have been implicated in brutal abuses against opponents of Paul Biya, who has been president since Several rest their rifle muzzles in the sandy ground, which could block and damage them.

The trees in the foreground are acacia. A state of emergency was declared across these two regions on 31 December There are lean times ahead. What I learned over time about such situations is that the crucial determinant of whether they can be mastered is the bandwidth of focus among the critical players.

Maathai created the Green Belt Movement, an initiative that planted more than 30 million trees in her country. The terrible crisis of brought to light the bad practices carried out in the area until then: the increase of grazing and agriculture, promoted by governments and the farmers themselves in rainy periods, had caused a systematic over-exploitation of the land well above its average capacity to provide water and pasture.

sahel desertification

Inthe Fulani Empire rose and conquered the Hausa, creating a more centralized state. This work necessarily requires the participation of the inhabitants who need to be trained for the process to be sustainable and for the restored areas to be maintained.

One reason for this is that national borders are porous and largely unguarded. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.

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The Sahel, desertification beyond drought