Cause & Consequences

What causes drought in Africa?
What are the consequences of drought in Africa?

What causes drought in Africa?

At the moment, over two-thirds of the land in Africa is degraded.

An area as big as Canada and the USA together! And the chance that this will increase in the upcoming years is enormous. Global warming increasingly causes long periods of extreme heat and drought within these areas. When rain arrives, it is often very intense. Because a lot water is coming down at once, the water has no time to infiltrate into the soil. Overexploitation of the land, felling of trees for firewood, overgrazing of grassy areas and inappropriate land use practices are causing the decrease of vegetation. Land becomes bare and unprotected, increasing the drought of the land. Ultimately this will lead to desertification and large areas of degraded land.

Droge top soil met scheuren

What are the consequences of drought in Africa?

Degradation of the land makes it hard to grow crops, keep livestock and for nature to survive.

A growing amount of people in rural areas are struggling to survive in areas where agriculture practices have become largely impossible. The areas still available for agriculture are extensively used, causing depletion of the land. Poverty is increasing due to the drought, since agriculture is often the biggest source of income in Africa. Additionally, the drought causes food shortages, leading to famine. The drought not only negatively influences humans, also plants and animals are affected by the drought. The drought inhibits vegetation to grow and cause a decrease in the biodiversity of plants and animals within the degraded areas.

Picture by ©KIRSTENVANSANTEN

How can we decrease the drought in Africa?

Regreening can help us achieve this! Vegetation promotes the sequestration of carbon, cooling of the soil, and stimulates the water cycle. Water evaporates out of the pores of plants and trees, increasing the humidity. The formation of clouds is stimulated and rainfall increases. The roots of vegetation help the water to infiltrate into the soil. Additionally, these roots help to retain the upper fertile layer of the soil during intense rainfall, preventing erosion of the fertile soil. The land can be used for agriculture again, increasing the food security and income for people and expanding the biodiversity.

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regreening 113 million hectares before 2030

The African Forest Landscape Restoration 100 (AFR100) initiative has the goal to regreen 113 million hectares of land within Africa before 2030. This is an area as large as Sweden. Finland and Norway together! The aim is to accelerate restoration of the land, increasing the food security, beat climate change and reduce poverty. This initiative is a partnership between more than twenty African governments and many financial and technical partner. Justdiggit is an official technical and media partner of the AFR100.

Who is Justdiggit?

And how does Justdiggit help to fight CO2 emissions and cool down the planet?

Justdiggit is a Dutch foundation with the goal to restore degraded ecosystems by developing, initiating and co-funding large-scale landscape restoration programs within Africa. Our regreening projects help to restore the water balance in the soil and bring back vegetation, which has a positive effect on the local and regional climate, increases water and food security and promotes biodiversity within the project areas. Within our projects we work together with local partners and communities. The communities involved directly benefit from our programs as we create a better living environment and increase economic development.Our unique approach is a media and communication-based strategy, involving all available communication and media on a local, regional, national and international level. With these sponsored media campaigns, we aim to amplify the effect of landscape restoration programs, thereby creating a landscape restoration movement, promoting regreening throughout Africa.

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The story of Justdiggit