Desertification in the SahelThe Sahel region spreads across several countries in North Africa. The situation is that the Sahara desert is expanding South at a rapid rate. What are the causes and consequences of deforestation in the Sahel?
Why is Desertification Occurring?Desertification in the Sahel is occurring at such a rapid rate due to a combination of both human and environmental factors. Climate change means that temperatures are rising and weather is becoming unpredictable. Combined with pressures on the land and resources by nomadic people of the Sahel means that the desert is moving forward.
Deforestation and overgrazing by nomadic communities remove vegetation at an alarming rate. Many of the Berber people inhabiting the Sahel do not realise the long term effects of overgrazing, and are dependent upon their livestock as this is their only livelihood. In addition, trees are removed for firewood - their many source of energy for cooking, heat and light. In fact, firewood supplies approximately 80% of energy for the people of the Sahel.