For people living in the Sahel that rely on farmland for their food and income, desertification is making it harder to grow crops, and poverty is increasing. But trees provide a solution.
The effects of the climate crisis, overuse of the land, and clearing of forests for farms — known as deforestation — are causing Africa's fertile land to rapidly turn to desert. This degradation of dryland areas is known as desertification.
Without trees to stabilise the soil, store water, and protect the land, droughts, and floods are becoming more frequent and severe. Soil that was once rich in nutrients is no longer able to support life — this is referred to as land degradation.
Every year, we work with local people to grow millions of trees across Africa's drylands. These trees help to stabilise the soil, improve its fertility, and protect the land from droughts and floods. They also absorb carbon dioxide, a leading cause of the climate crisis.
We also support farmers to learn sustainable land management methods like digging zai pits — holes filled with compost that conserve water and nutrients. This training helps communities to restore degraded land today, and protect the land for tomorrow.
Tree Aid is partnered with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in support of the Great Green Wall initiative — an African-led movement aiming to grow an 8,000km natural wonder across the width of Africa. The movement is “a symbol of hope in the face of one of the biggest challenges of our time — desertification.”
We are growing one tree every 19 seconds for the Great Green Wall, providing futures for millions of people whose lives are threatened by desertification.