desertification in the Sahel

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Desertification in the Sahel

The Sahel is located in Central Africa. It is a narrow strip of land in the Southern region of the Sahara Desert. There are several countries which lie in the Sahel. Some countries which lie there suffer from severe desertification, like Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Desertification is turning land in arid and dry sub-humid areas, from human activities and climate change. This happens mainly in happens in poor countries with little rainfall.

Desertification happens because of both physical and human factors. One of the main causes of desertification is climate change. Climate change causes less rain which means that vegetation dies so there is bare soil, thus desertification. There is a lack of rain in the Sahel because of the dry winds. In the winter, winds come from the north which crosses over from the dry Middle East. In the summer, winds come from the south which crosses South Western Africa but most of the rain falls here. By the time they reach the Sahel, there is little moisture left. Sources have shown that rainfall is not consistent and that is a major cause of desertification and drought. Climatologists believe that desertification has nothing to do with human influences and that It is a naturally dry region.

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The other cause is the influence of human action. Soil erosion causes desertification. Overgrazing and deforestation lead to soil erosion. Overgrazing occurs when plants are exposed to cattle grazing for a long time. It reduces the usefulness of the land. People let the animals graze in one place and then go on to another place where it is fresh to graze. This scars the landscape and leaves bare soil. Overgrazing happens in poorer countries where population is high and that there is an increase demand for food. Also high population leads to deforestation since people need the wood for ...

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