[VOICE FROM THE FIELD] [SENEGAL] Land Degradation and Good Practices in Senegal

I. INTRODUCTION OF SENEGAL

Basic Information of Senegal

◆ Area: 196 722 km²

◆ Capital: Dakar

◆ Population: 15.4 million

 

In Senegal, the degradation of ecosystems is becoming more and more alarming. This situation is mainly due to bad weather conditions and human actions. This phenomenon is exacerbated by monoculture, which makes much of the land vulnerable.

 

II. CURRENT SITUATION OF DROUGHT, LAND DEGRADATION, AND DESERTIFICATION IN SENEGAL

Drought: 

Climate is characterized by the alternation of two seasons; a rainy season from July to October (three months) and a dry season for the rest of the year.
Rainfall is often deficient and generally poorly distributed over time and space.

 

Land Degradation: 

In Senegal, most of the land is facing a strong degradation linked to:

◆ Salinization of agricultural land and especially rice paddies;

◆ Water erosion which causes stripping and gullying;

◆ Wind erosion which removes the surface layer of soils and destroys their potential for production;

◆ Overgrazing that exceeds load capacities;

◆ Mono-culture of groundnuts.

These different phenomena seriously affect population’s agricultural production possibilities and accentuate their poverty.

 

Desertification:

Climatic phenomena (drought and erosion) associated with human activities lead to desertification. This desertification is manifested by the scarcity and insufficiency of rainfall, the destruction of pastures and the degradation of ecosystems in general. Hot and dry winds with sand and dust storms blow a good part of the year.

 

 

III. MAIN TYPES OF LAND (SOIL) DEGRADATION AND SOME PRACTICES CARRIED OUT FOR FIGHTING AGAINST IT

 

Example of Main Types of Land(Soil) Degradation (1)

Soil compaction by water erosion 1

Soil compaction by water erosion 2

Some Practices Carried Out for Fighting against It (1)

Erosion control by bunds

Erosion control by stone lines

Erosion control by staggered ditches

 

Example of Main Types of Land(Soil) Degradation (2)

Gully process from water erosion

Gully causing loss of land

  Some Practices Carried out for Fighting against It (2)

Gully treatment by piles of stones

Gully treatment by gabions 1

Gully Treatment by gabions 2

 

Example of Main Types of Land(Soil) Degradation (3)

Deposition of silt in rice fields by water erosion

Degradation of mangrove ecosystems

Some practices carried out for fighting against it (3)

Using Vetiver plants against deposition of silt

Reforestation for mangrove’s restoration

 

Example of Main Types of Land(Soil) Degradation (4)
Sand dunes formation with wind erosion
Some Practices Carried out for Fighting against It (4)
Dune fixation in the littoral with Casuarina equisetifolia

 (Presented by Colonel Baba BA, Head of Reforesting Department, Senegal)