Desertification in the Sahel

Cambridge AS and A-Level Geography: pages 386-388 Degradation of rural environments: resources for studying desertification in the Sahel

1. Niger: managing communities to create afforestation 

The first of four different environmental management projects in the Sahel. starting with the Berkeley Reafforestation Trust work in  shown in a video about the project: the tree-planting project on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Niger, Africa.

2. Ethiopia: management techniques to combat soil erosion.

Dutch Red Cross film about farmer-to-farmer cooperation, learning about climate change adaptation. Film shows a range of management techniques to combat soil erosion.

3. Kenya: terracing to conserve soil. 

Fanya juu (“throw the soil up” in Kiswahili) terraces are the most popular and successful cross-slop barrier measures used in Kenya’s small scale farming sector. Contour earth bunds are constructed by throwing soil upwards from trenches immediately below them. This design leads to the gradual formation of terraces with a level or slightly forward sloping bed.

4. Burkina Faso: two videos explaining the climate change problem and one project about sustainable management of soil

5. General video material on Sahel desertification:

News report from 2012 on the general problems of desertification in the Sahel.  Between the vast Sahara desert and the dense foliage of the African rainforest is a band of semi-arid grassland.  This landscape is one of Africa’s most productive crop regions.  This is a brief explaining the three main climatic causes of the problems in the Sahel: the ITCZ convection zone, the West African monsoons and the El Niño effect from the Pacific. Does this report give a good explanation or are there missing factors?


6. Soil erosion

Link to book Regenerating Agriculture: Policies and Practice for Sustainability and Self-reliance, J.N. Pretty, 1995.



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