Desertification refers to the development of desert-like conditions in an area and more so in a region adjacent to a desert. It may be expressed as the advancement or extension of the desert. Desertification has been commonly experienced in the Sahel region of Africa. In East Africa desert-like conditions have been experienced or developed in parts of Northern Kenya, Central and Northern Tanzania, N. Eastern Uganda, and the Ankole-Masaka corridor and parts of Western Uganda adjacent to Lake Albert, Lake George, Albert Nile, and within the East African rift valley.
9 Indicators of desertification
- Decreasing rainfall amounts.
- Rainfall becomes more unreliable i.e. more recurring cycles of drought start being experienced.
- Increasing temperatures i.e. temperatures tend to rise.
- Reducing relative humidity i.e. the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere reduces.
- Increasing diurnal range of temperature.
- Reducing thickness of cloud cover i.e. the skies tend to become clearer and clearer with each passing year.
- There is loss of water retention capacity of the vegetation and soils i.e. there are increasing evapotranspiration rates.
- Reduced bio-diversity i.e. there is degradation of the biological productivity of the land i.e. reduced plant and animal species.
- Increasing wind and run off erosion hence consequently resulting into reduced soil fertility.