Drought in Africa

Drought is a major problem on the African continent. Especially in The Horn of Africa, where it hasn’t been this dry in 40 years ! What is causing this drought? And more importantly: what can we do against it?

What causes the drought
in Africa

Currently, more than two third of the African landmass is degraded. This is an area as large as the United States and Canada combined! Chances are, this is only going to get worse in the following years. Why’s that?

  • Population growth
  • Climate change
  • Lack of green

1. Increasing population growth

There are more and more people in the world. This means we use an increasing amount of water. If the population grows faster than the water supply, it can lead to drought.

Children raindance festival Tanzania

2. Climate change

The earth is warming up because of climate change. Global warming causes the soil to dry out and water to evaporate. Another reason for the drying out of land on the African continent is the lack of rain over the last few years. This is the first time in recorded history that 4 rainy seasons in a row have failed. This is also a result of climate change, as extreme temperatures and prolonged dry periods are happening more often.

Drought Africa - Climate change - Justdiggit

3. Lack of green 

Lastly, what we’re all about: the importance of regenerating trees and vegetation! The loss of green lands is one of the most important reasons for the degradation of soil. As a result of the large-scale cutting of trees and misuse of land, the soil becomes bare and unprotected. This leads to the disappearance of areas that absorb and sequester water. 

tree africa drought

What are the consequences of the drought in Africa?

The dry climate on the African continent impacts nature, biodiversity and livelihoods. These are the most important consequences of this extreme drought:

  • Poverty
  • Decreased biodiversity
  • Local famine

1. Increased poverty

Agriculture is one of the most important sources of income in large parts of Africa. As drought makes the soil infertile and lessens vegetation, this income source is under great pressure. In this way, drought increases poverty in Africa. Many people can’t afford the absolute basics of survival, like shelter, clothes or food. 

Drought in Africa landscape

2. Decreased biodiversity

If drought is long-lasting, it can cause desertification, a process in which areas become not only infertile but also uninhabitable. Desertification in fact leads to the loss of biodiversity and reduced food sources for animals.

Biodiversiteit olifanten droogte en erosie

3. Local famine

Not only animals are suffering from reduced food sources. More than 20 million people in Africa are in danger of famine because of the drought. If soils are depleted and infertile, it’s impossible to grow food.

Drought and erosion food/hongersnood

Regreening is the solution!

We can take successful action against desertification in Africa and the effects of the dry climate. Even from Europe or the United States! How? By bringing back vegetation with regreening projects! These initiatives aim to improve the local soil, water- and food security, biodiversity and quality of life by bringing back vegetation on a huge scale. If you support these projects, you contribute to a greener Africa and a cooler planet.

Kisiki Hai Tree

How does Jusdiggit help to regreen the planet?

Simply put: by using the power of nature to restore degraded ecosystems! We do regreening projects in Africa using traditional, scalable and easy-to-apply landscape restoration techniques. We believe in the power of nature, so we only use nature-based solutions like digging bunds, regenerating trees and developing grass seed banks. 

We work closely with communities and local partners to restore dry land. All our projects are owned and implemented by communities that live off the lands. Through the power of communication and media campaigns, we share with the world the importance of nature-based solutions against climate change and empower millions of subsistence farmers and pastoralists in Africa to start regreening their own land. Regreening degraded land increases vegetation, water, biodiversity and livelihoods – and ultimately leads to a cooler planet!

Regreening 113 million acres before 2030


Justdiggit is an official partner of the African Forest Landscape Restoration 100 (AFR100). The AFR100 is on a mission to regreen 113 million acres of land in Africa before 2023. This is an area as large as Sweden, Finland and Norway combined! The goal is to decrease poverty and take action against climate change by restoring land. This is a collaborative initiative of more than 20 African governments and many financial and technical partners, like Justdiggit. 

Frequently asked questions

Why is restoring vegetation so important?

Regreening can be done in many different ways. One such way is restoring vegetation. This is because it is plants that provide CO2 storage and stimulate the water cycle!  Evaporation of water from the pores of trees and plants means more moisture in the air. And more moisture means more clouds and thus more precipitation. Another reason why vegetation is so important is because of its roots. Roots allow water to be better absorbed into the soil and also to penetrate deeper into the soil. In addition, roots hold the soil well so that fertile soil is not washed away during heavy rains. The land can thus continue to be used for agriculture, which in turn provides food, income for the population and an increase in biodiversity. So regreening is indispensable for the future!