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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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.


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.

The misconception that the Sahel is widely vulnerable to the Sahara desert is widely accepted by all. People think that the Sahara blows strong winds into the Sahel and yearly washes away tons of hardworking farmer’s efforts. In reality the misconception is partly false. Although parts of Northern Africa and Mauritania are exposed to the Sahara, Niger and the pastoral zone to the north of Tanou has very good vegetation including bushes, trees etc. These parts of the Sahel are equipped with a green belt that shields them from the Sahara. This zone has a balanced ecosystem with abundance of perennials and varied fauna including gazelles, and a variety of reptiles. Vegetation in this area covers and protects the soil from various kinds of erosion. Hasty use of this environment could be disastrous to this area.

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 Even though the ecosystem of this part of the Sahel is balanced, it counts for only 20% of the Sahel - it cannot hide the true Sahel -. Dalli’s farmers remember when the land was rich with trees and animals. "Only 100 years ago," says Malam Garba, aged 77 from Dalli, "villagers used to hunt many wild animals such as antelope, monkey, wolf, fox, squirrel, rabbit and even elephant." (Quoted from case study)    40 years ago Malam Garba and his brother harvested a superfluous of food for both their families. Villagers did not have to worry, there village was surrounded ...

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