The degradation of drylands in Africa is forcing people who can no longer make a living off the land to move to urban areas. According to the UN Population Division, the population of Lagos, Nigeria, will grow from 13.4 million in 2000 to 23.2 million in 2015, partly due to an influx of displaced rural communities.
How does desertification affect Africa?
Desertification affects about 46 percent of Africa. … Agriculture in Africa tends to result in low productivity, as most of the land is characterized as a semi-desert. Clearing the land of trees also reduces the structure of the soil. Coupled with wind erosion, the topsoil blows away and leaves a desert-like land.
What are three effects of desertification in Africa?
Desertification affects topsoil, groundwater reserves, surface runoff, human, animal, and plant populations. Water scarcity in drylands limits the production of wood, crops, forage, and other services that ecosystems provide to our community.
What are the effects of desertification in South Africa?
South Africa is losing about 300 to 400 million tons of topsoil every year. Areas such as the Northern Cape are especially prone to desertification. To halt desertification the number of animals on the land must be reduced, allowing plants to regrow.
What are the main causes of desertification in Africa?
Poverty-related agricultural practices are a major contributor to desertification. Continuous cultivation without adding supplements, overgrazing, lack of soil and water conservation structures, and indiscriminate bushfires aggravate the process of desertification.
What are three effects of desertification?
Higher food prices, water availability, violent conflicts for land, migration, increasing poverty, pollution from wind-blown dust particles coming from distant lands, could be the outcomes of desertification if we let it consume more of our planet.
Why is desertification so bad in Africa?
It has been estimated that 319 million hectares of Africa are vulnerable to desertification hazards due to sand movement. … Deforestation exposes the soil to high temperatures which break down the organic matter, increase evaporation and make the soils vulnerable to erosion.
What are the main effects of desertification?
“In many countries, desertification means a decline in soil fertility, a reduction in vegetation cover – especially grass cover – and more invasive shrub species. Practically speaking, the consequences of this are less available land for grazing, and less productive soils.
How can desertification affect humans?
Land degradation and desertification can affect human health through complex pathways. As land is degraded and deserts expand in some places, food production is reduced, water sources dry up and populations are pressured to move to more hospitable areas. … the spread of infectious diseases as populations migrate.
What are the harmful effects of desertification quizlet?
Population increase, cutting trees, over-cultivation, overgrazing and opening up marginal land. Change in ecological system, effect on human activities, decrease in crop yield, sandstorms and flooding. Desertification not only affects the local people, but also the rest of the world.
What is the importance of droughts and desertification in South Africa?
The significance of these problems in the region is demonstrated by outlining the impact that drought and desertification have on economic growth and poverty reduction, agriculture and food security, water, biodiversity, energy and migration.
How can desertification be prevented?
Preventive actions include:
- Integrating land and water management to protect soils from erosion, salinization, and other forms of degradation.
- Protecting the vegetative cover, which can be a major instrument for soil conservation against wind and water erosion.
How is desertification caused?
Human activities that contribute to desertification include the expansion and intensive use of agricultural lands, poor irrigation practices, deforestation, and overgrazing. These unsustainable land uses place enormous pressure on the land by altering its soil chemistry and hydrology.
What country is most affected by desertification?
Africa is the continent most affected by desertification, and one of the most obvious natural borders on the landmass is the southern edge of the Sahara desert. The countries that lie on the edge of the Sahara are among the poorest in the world, and they are subject to periodic droughts that devastate their peoples.
What are the main causes of drought?
A lack of water in stores such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs and aquifers (water stored underground naturally) can lead to drought. Areas that rely on rainfall and surface water are more likely to experience drought. Surface water quickly evaporates in warm, dry conditions leading to an increased risk of drought.