Great Green Wall of Africa to halt Sahara

Great Green Wall of Africa to halt Sahara

Posted on 29. Jun, 2010 by in Africa, Nigeria

If it goes ahead, the tree belt would be 15km wide and nearly 8,000km long and run all the way across Africa.

The tree belt, would run from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east through 11 countries, in an effort to halt the advance of the Sahara Desert.

Every now and then this project raises its head in various countries only to crash and burn. We sincerely hope that it lasts longer than the usual few months.

It has always puzzled us at Green Planet that this project is killed off, as it is a total win for everybody

Back at the beginning of this century Green Planet secured an initial 25,000 hectares of land in Borno State, Nigeria. We were working with the Government of Nigeria to complete the first phase of the federal ‘shelter belt’ project, which involves creating a forestry barrier across the north of the country as a buffer to the encroachment of the Sahara desert.

After planting 25,000 Acacia Senegal (Gum Arabic) we hit problems of desire to see the project finished. Our project ground to a halt for a variety of reasons and this one seems to be going the same way, while everybody says that this is a worthwhile project nobody wants to finance it.

Which is amazing really as the project would create a multitude of environmental, humanitarian and commercial benefits.

The positive impact on the local communities cannot be underestimated; Employment, trade, provision of water and protection from the community displacement resulting from desert encroachment all combine to help people in need!

Green Planet Gum Arabic Tree Nursery

Environmentally

• Its trees roots stabilize the soil against erosion
• They provide wind brakes and shelter to reduce desertification
• The wood can be used for fuel, building materials, tools, fences and rope
• The foliage and pods are valuable fodder for the dry seasons and fertilizer
• They provide shade to protect man, animals and crops from the sun
• They help soil fertility and add nutrients to the soil, and restore the fertile nature of the land
• Tree like gum arabic and neem can be cropped to provide an income
• For those who like to think this way, it would provide a huge Co2 benefit

Desertification cost to man-kind is far greater than most other ecological threats. The positive impact on the local communities also cannot be underestimated; employment, trade, provision of water and protection from the community displacement resulting from desert encroachment all combine to help people in need!

Static communities can receive Health and Educational benefits and employment on plantations, and maintenance will take families out of poverty.

In the Sub-Sahara countries, the Desert is moving southwards at an annual rate of 0.6 km., putting 35 million people at risk from the effects of desertification in northern Nigeria alone. These people become from necessity become refugees putting burdens upon communities further south. And the problem gets worse every year.

In Sub Sahara regions they have the highest rate of Infant mortality and by 2020 the number of malnourished children will increase under all scenarios, rising as high as 55 million, as hardship and poverty increases. This alone makes it a project worthy of investment

So, this tree project would have more than just an environmental benefit.

The shame is that petty individual self interest will probably prevent it ever happening!

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One Response to “Great Green Wall of Africa to halt Sahara”

  1. medical assistant

    03. Jul, 2010

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

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