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How Desertification Is Killing Culture In Africa (And How To Help)
Changing weather patterns determine the quality of life on Earth. Soil conditions,wildlife and plant biodiversity and resistance to natural disasters are all at the whim of climate. Of the many types of transformations, the process of desertification is perhaps the highest priority. Due to the huge public health and safety risks it poses — in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa especially — many organizations are researching methods to combat the process.
Desertification & Climate Change
Desertification is typically defined as the process by which land becomes desert through excessive droughts or deforestation. Among the exhibited symptoms is water scarcity. When the demand for water in drylands exceeds what is available, water scarcity results in negative impacts on human health, livestock, fuel and agriculture. While drought happens less frequently than other natural disasters, it tends to affect a broad region for seasons or even years at a time, even after the drought ends.
In a region with a sufficient support system, the effects may be somewhat mitigated; however, in a region with little support from neighboring communities, the effects can be much more devastating.
Additionally, desertification has long-term effects well after the rains become more favorable. Over time cover vegetation is etched out, causing decreased ability for the soil to hold nutrients; meaning that if and when climate does become more favorable, the loss of natural support systems is often so crippled that flooding, dust storms and other hazards are still very probable. When the land is degraded, it becomes less able to retain water, and water scarcity is increased.
This process has happened independently of human interaction for millennia, but ourcontributions to climate change have shifted the responsibility into our hands. Climate change has seen a significant acceleration in this process, and there are few parts of the world likely to feel the impacts more than sub-Saharan Africa. One tribe in particular, the Maasai, are feeling the effects of this crisis.
Read the full article: Epicure and Culture