Problems faced by people living in desert regions

Desert and semi-desert climate type of climate is mainly found in the sub-tropical belt. These areas include Karamoja, Turkana land, and Chalbi desert in Northern Kenya



Problems faced by people living in desert regions

  • Inadequate/limited supply of surface water for livestock and human consumption.
  • Shortage of pasture for livestock rearing leading to nomadism.
  • Infertile soils which don’t support crop growing.
  • Low and unreliable rainfall which limits growth of crops and vegetation.
  • Excessively high temperatures during the day making settlements difficult.
  • Very cold nights due to absence of cloud cover.
  • Desert areas are remote due to absence of road network.



  • Limited supply of food leading to frequent famine.
  • Sandstorms due to strong winds are common leading to loss of lives and poor visibility.
  • Small population makes it difficult to provide social services.
  • Temporary flooding due to torrential downpours.
  • Overcrowding near oases, rivers and water points.
  • Shortage of labour and market due to small and sparse population.



Solutions to the above problems

  • Construction of valley dams to help store water for pastoralists.
  • Irrigation farming to improve food production and reduce famine.
  • Planting of trees to help in climate modification through rainfall formation.



  • Use of machines especially where labour is not enough.
  • Educating pastoralists about the dangers of bush burning.
  • Extending social services to attract big population and encourage people to settle down.
  • Resettlement of people away from congested areas e.g. oases and river valleys.
  • Encouraging tourism to acquire revenue for development of social services.



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