Africa to stop the expansion of the Sahara Desert by creating a green blanket buffer zone
The Sahara is the largest desert in the world. It spans 11 North African countries and has grown by more than 10 percent over the past century. This represents millions of square kilometers. Authorities are worried because it will encroach on human habitats and pose countless problems that could threaten the survival of living things. According to CNN, Africa’s Sahel region, a semi-arid belt, acts as a buffer zone just south of the desert. Water is becoming scarce, the quality of the soil is deteriorating and all of these combine to create food insecurity.
The United Nations believes that a bleak future lies ahead with the lives of millions of people at risk. Therefore, the African Union drew up an ambitious plan in 2007. They decided to create a barrier to prevent the desert from spreading. Identified as the Great Green Wall, it is said to be 5,000 miles long and 9 miles wide. It would be a natural barrier with a combination of trees, vegetation, meadows and plants. When completed, it would be over three times the length of the Great Barrier Reef. This GBR happens to be the largest living structure on Earth and the Great Green Wall could surpass this record.
Africa needs funds to create the wall
A project of this magnitude requires funds. CNN says France, the World Bank and other donors have come forward to provide funds for the Great Green Wall in Africa.
Its interim fund requirement is $ 33 billion to meet the target by 2030. However, progress is slow. So far, only a tiny part of the work has been completed. Those associated with the massive project are optimistic.
The Great Green Wall of Africa
Countries around the Sahara Desert have tried many options to prevent the sand from expanding its reach.
Some of these included reforestation and agroforestry. Then come the methods of creating terraces and fixing dunes. These fell into the category of techniques for stopping the movement of sand so that natural vegetation could thrive on its own. Communities have also taken steps to protect their water supplies. They did this by drilling boreholes and building irrigation systems.
CNN adds that the Great Green Wall in Africa would expand its green coverage and simultaneously create jobs in rural areas. These job opportunities can be found in industries such as fruit growing and forest products. Sarah Toumi is a Franco-Tunisian environmentalist. She participated in the recent fundraising campaign for the initiative. She says: “It is about creating sustainable livelihoods for people … so that they can live in peace in their ecosystems and preserve their traditions and preserve their landscapes.” In June 2019, Harry and Meghan visited Africa.
Desert expansion in Africa could spell disaster
According to Africa News, the Great Green Wall is a joint effort by communities in the Sahel and Sahara regions to roll back the Sahara Desert.
The Sahel is a semi-arid region in western and north-central Africa stretching from Senegal to Djibouti. It lies at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The African Development Bank has agreed to mobilize funds to support the project. This will help communities in the region adapt to climate change and improve food security. AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina took that promise. It was during the OnePlanet summit organized by French President Emmanuel Macron. His words were: âThe future of the Sahel region depends on the Great Green Wall. Without the Great Green Wall, the Sahel region as we know it could disappear. The United Nations warns that the Sahel could experience a temperature increase of up to 3 to 5 Â° C by 2050.
This in turn would lead to a change in precipitation patterns and lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of climatic disturbances such as floods, droughts and sandstorms that will affect To travel. The need could also be felt Renewable energy. Climate change has affected agriculture and trade. They are vital sources of livelihood for communities in the Sahel. Incidentally, in April 2019, Harry and Meghan said they might move to Africa to support good causes.
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