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Drought in the Sahel Belt

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Drought in the Sahel Belt ACTIVITY 5: The Sahel belt is a region in western Africa, forming a transition zone between the arid Sahara on the north and the wetter tropical areas of the south. The Sahel belt runs from Mauritania in the west to Chad in the east. The video which I watched, focused on the Sahel belt in a part of Burkino Faso. A relatively sparse Savanna vegetation of grasses and shrubs predominates. Rainfall averages between 102 and 203mm (4 and 8inches) a year and falls mostly from June to September; periods of low rainfall and drought are common, however. An extended drought in the Sahel, lasting from the late 1960's until the early 1980's the worst in 150 years, suggested and increasingly arid regional climate. ...read more.


Whereas in January the moist south-westerlie winds do not reach the Sahel belt, as the dry north-easterlie winds are much stronger and therefore converge with the moist south-westerlie winds south of the Sahel. The rains may sometimes fail as well, this is due to the moist south-westerlie winds getting caught over the Ethiopian Highlands, and not reaching the Sahel. The effects of the drought on the Sahel are a lot more disastrous than those we rarely experience in England and Wales. They last a lot longer in the Sahel and they are also much worse, as the areas which are affected are much poorer than those which would be effected in both England and Wales. ...read more.


The Sahel drought was also aggrevated by nonclimatic determiants such as overcropping, as well as by political and milatary conflicts. Human activity has resulted in the drought effects worsening by the increase of children being born, which means more food is required to live up to the demand. The effects of the drought in Africa could be reduced by coppicing, this is where trees are not completely cut down, but only shortened, this would allow branches to continue growing, as there is not enough time to be growing new trees. Dams could also be built to create reservoirs, which would keep any existing water in one place and not from flowing away or infiltrating into the dry soil. Some villages often put rows of stones on the hillsides to improve the farmland, this is called water harvesting. ...read more.

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