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Sahel Desertification - Informative coursework. The most effective solution to the desertification in the Sahel is to grow perennials in areas and recultivate a strong and efficient green belt.

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Introduction

Name: Aditya Raghunath Krishnan Candidate Number: 488 Centre Name: Dhirubhai Ambani International School Centre Number: IN405 Date: 21/9/09 Coursework Number: 1 (informative) 2nd draft STATEMENT OF INTENT: This piece of coursework is a magazine article to be posted in National Geographic magazine. This article is intended for people of age 15 and above and who are inclined towards environmental conservation. It is hence the language used in this article is simple with occasional use of technical terms. SAHEL, A VICTIM OF DESERTIFICATION On the earth, land covers 15 billion acres. Out of the 15 billion acres, 6 billion is dry land and 17% of it is waterless and parched desert. The remaining dry land is being threatened by desertification. One fourth of the world's population rely on dry land for their livelihood and have set up their homes in these arid places. People in the Sahel are a victim of desertification in these dry lands. ...read more.

Middle

Hunting was a very big pastime and a traditional custom. As the days have passed by, the top soil layer has been eroded by strong winds, this was due to hardly any vegetation. Locals claim that loose sand sometimes covers the roads. Rains that covered a 25-day period have now died away. Noumau says that farmers in the village only cultivate millet and winter crops and hunt a few deer. Malam Garba's fields have increased by three times but the harvest is only 14% of what it was before. The perennials that sheltered the annual crops have been destroyed leaving the soil susceptible to erosion. And now the soil fertility has reduced drastically. Decimation of vegetation is a widespread disease that has covered not only Dalli but villages that extend far beyond Dalli in the Sahel. In the Khuwei village (western Sudan), trees protected houses and other buildings but now they have been weathered away. ...read more.

Conclusion

Various projects have supplanted the green belt with artificial growth of plants; this may lead to reduced growth of native plants. The artificially grown green belt may not be able to sustain the harsh weathers and die out leaving the land bare. Since there is few vegetation lying on the desert floor, farmers cut perennials in order to feed their cattle which optimises the rate of desertification. People in the Sahel need to learn to blend into the ecosystem and be a part of it and not be the exploiter, they should learn how to live in a symbiotic relationship with the environment and make an efficient eco-system. The most effective solution to the desertification in the Sahel is to grow perennials in areas and recultivate a strong and efficient green belt. Sahelians shouldn't depend on green projects as their access to regions is very restricted and the projects are limited to certain regions. The best way to implement such a solution is for each farmer to do his part of the work in his land and this would help make a sustainable Sahel. ...read more.

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