A giant wall is being built across Africa, but much to Donald Trump’s dismay, this one isn’t designed to segregate.
The Great Green Wall is an incredible African-led movement, which aims to grow an 8,000km wall of trees across the entire width of the continent at the southern edge of the Sahara desert, a region known as the Sahel.
Over 20 countries have joined together to take on the mission, which began in 2007 and once complete, the creation will be the largest living structure on the planet.
The Sahel was once full of lush foliage, but the effects of population growth, unsustainable land management, and climate change have turned the landscape barren.
At the moment the wall is only around 15 per cent complete, but already surrounding communities have seen incredibly positive results as the wall battles desertification.
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More than 20 countries have joined together in a tree planting project that will span the width of Africa. Known as ‘The Great Green Wall’ it will stretch roughly 6,000 miles at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The countries are planting drought-resistant acacia trees, and although they have only completed around 15% there are already dramatic results happening. Including replenished wells, improving food supplies, better security and jobs & stability to people’s lives. Once complete, the Great Green Wall will be the largest living structure on the planet, 3 times the size of the Great Barrier Reef. • 🐼 follow us @ecopandas for daily good news • 🛎 don’t forget to #ecopandas in environmental good news
Good News Network report over 12 million acres of degraded land has been restored in Nigeria, while roughly 30 million acres of drought-resistant trees have been planted across Senegal, and 37 million acres of land have been restored in Ethiopia.
On top of combating desertification, the Great Green Wall is making moves against poverty by creating more jobs, as well as refilling groundwater wells with drinking water, and providing rural towns with additional food supplies.
Village chief Absaman Moudouba told the BBC:
When there were no trees, the wind used to dig up and erode the soil. But it is more protected now.
The leaves provide compost and the canopy increases the humidity of the environment and offers some shade, so there is less need for a lot of watering.
Before there was widespread drought and hunger here. Then the tree planting took place, and then a garden for the women to grow crops. It has really helped the people. Now we have 200 people working on it and they are being well paid.
According to the Great Green Wall site, the end goal is to restore 100 million hectares of currently degraded land, sequester 250 million tonnes of carbon and create 10 million jobs in rural areas by 2030.
The website adds:
The initiative is already bringing life back to Africa’s degraded landscapes at an unprecedented scale, providing food security, jobs and a reason to stay for the millions who live along its path.
The Wall promises to be a compelling solution to the many urgent threats not only facing the African Continent, but the global community as a whole – notably climate change, drought, famine, conflict and migration.
Today I helped plant the first of thousands of trees as part of the Great Green Wall initiative, an African-led movement with the ambition to grow an 8,000km natural barrier to stop the progress of the Sahara desert right across the entire width of Africahttps://t.co/HpEUifQUZN pic.twitter.com/Mx3tQwJz4u
— Denis Naughten (@DenisNaughten) April 2, 2019
Hopefully the wall will continue to grow and offer endless benefits to the surrounding communities.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.