Thursday, June 17, 2010

Desertification Threatens Livelihood of Nomadic People

Today is the World's Day to Combat Desertification. It is part of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, an agreement that came into force in 1996 to counter the effects of desertification and widespread drought. The Sahara desert, covering most of Northern Africa, is the size of the United States. It is also expanding southwards by 6 kilometers per year. The mass desertification is a result of changes in climatic conditions and commercial mining. For the nomadic people who roam the desert with small herds of goats and cows in order to find adequate grazing land, desertification has had a crippling effect on their lives. Al Jazeera followed one Niger family's struggles with desertification.

-Matthew Thwaites