From the air, the new garden in the village of Boki Diawe in northeastern Senegal looks like an eye-opener, wide-open, with no gestures, and a collection of digs dug into the surrounding soil, as dark as stains on the nose. The ground is still brown sand, but all around it is bright green.
If everything is planned, this garden will soon look prosperous. Circular garden – known locally as a tolou keur– Papaya, cashews, lemons and others have recently been planted. One of the curved inner lines is dedicated to medicinal plants, and the outer row with baobabs and Khaya senegalensis, its wood is also known as the African mahogany.
The Garden is the latest version of the project The Great Green Wall, first seen as a round belt that stretched thousands of miles across the Sahel region, from Senegal to Djibouti. It was launched in 2007 by the African Union from protection The European Union, the World Bank and the United Nations initially wanted to support the project avoid desertification by interfering with the drift of sub-Saharan Africa.
Desertification is the process of land degradation in the desert. Chukwuma J. Okolie, a professor of surveys and geoinformatics at Lagos University in Nigeria, promotes the phenomenon by “interactions between natural factors and humans”. Okolie uses remote sensing data, such as satellite imagery, to track landscapes that bend to desert conditions.
The causes of desertification include climate variability and climate change, overgrazing, the construction of river dams, and conflicts that displace people and cause changes in land use. Prolonged droughts can leave fertile land vulnerable, and can be carried away by wind and rain. “Deforestation can speed up the process because trees serve as windbreaks,” Okoli says. That’s where the concept of the Great Green Wall came from.
The initial plan was to emphasize the trees as an anchor to the soil and the buffer against the introduced sand. Some elements of the idea made sense, says Geert Sterk, a geoscientist at the University of Utrecht, who studies soil degradation. “The roots of trees and shrubs cling to the soil, and canopies catch raindrops before they reach the surface and reduce rough winds,” eroding winds and regional erosion. relatively rare but heavy rain, Sterke explained in an email.
But the ambitious plan is not true. Political debates were where the green line was to be drawn, and what was the scientific debate about what drives desertification, as well as the effectiveness of the approach. From 2021, the project it is only part of the way to the goal planting hundreds of millions of acres.
New infusion of money, he ordered this year various government and development banks will give impetus to the project — and now attention is being shifted to more local gardens. In the last seven months, more than 20 versions of these circular gardens have been created throughout Senegal.
Aly Ndiaye, a Senegalese-born agricultural engineer, helped design it tolou keur, tell Reuters The Great Green Wall should be made up of smaller, more productive gardens that are “permanent, usable, and sequential,” some practical plots, rather than an unbroken line of trees. Okolie agrees that the project cannot be about throwing any seedlings into the ground. He says it should involve “trying to locate the best species that can thrive” in soil conditions and climates to make it attractive to the people they feed on. Researchers they found that agricultural and forestry projects often fail when attention is placed only on tree plantations and the local population is left out of the process. “When the government plants trees, it will be the people in the community who will support them,” Okolie says. “The community needs to take ownership.”