Last Tuesday there was the story on the VRT television news about Belgian entrepreneurs who “stop the desert” in Burkina Faso (Dutch). They take part in what is called “The Great Green Wall” across Africa, planting trees and crops in plowed open land just before the rain season. During the rain season those fill with water and then the seeds will grow to trees, grasses and crops.
That forest keeps the desert from taking the land and also provide some new income for the people (who for example can weave mats or baskets that can be sold at local markets, providing some additional money).
If those trees keep the desert away and are a new source of income, I can only applaud such an initiative. It is a great idea and it rightfully laudable.
But two thoughts crossed my mind when hearing this success story. First, the journalist mentioned that:
Because of climate change, the Sahara is dangerously advancing in the Sahel region, also in Burkina Faso.
There we go again…
Second, there was also that green band across Africa … I have seen that somewhere else …