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.
Causes of desertification.
Desertification is basically caused by environmentally unfriendly human activities. However, to a small extent, it may be brought about by naturally existing conditions in the atmosphere that may lead to cycles of drought. Such atmospheric systems that result in cyclic changes or occurrences in the atmosphere have compounded the problem of desertification.
Human activities that have contributed to desertification in East Africa in general include the following:
- Bush burning.
- Reclamation of wetlands.
- Borehole drilling.
- Industrial activity.
- Poor methods of cultivation.
- Political conflicts/wars.