[MAURITANIA] Stabilization of Sand Dunes and Biological Fixation in Mauritania

The fight against desertification is a necessity for the protection of socio-economic infrastructures in Mauritania: a country whose area is a three-quarters desert. The phenomenon of silting, which is very acute in the country, is now a threat for:

  • Urbanization and villages
  • Oases
  • Agricultural and pastoral areas
  • Communication routes (tracks, rivers, paved roads).

The best-known practices in the fight against desertification in Mauritania carried out by our initiative, “Nouakchott Association Deserves a Tree”, are as follows:


1. Mechanical stabilization of dunes

Simple techniques that are cheaply and easily reproducible by the population, were applied using branches of vegetation such as:

  • Palm leaves;
  • Prosopis juliflora;
  • Balantites aegyptica;

©2010 Ji-Elle/Wikipedia

Palm leaves   (photo by Ji-Elle, 2010)

Prosopis juliflora   (photo by Dinesh Valke,2008)

Balanites aegyptiaca  (photo by A. J. T. Johnsingh, 2015)


2. Biological fixation (fixation of plants and plantations)

The selection of fast-growing species suited to the climate and soil conditions of our ecosystem will be a priority.
The following species are generally used for this activity. The focus is on local species, among which we may cite:

  • Ziziphus mauritiana
  • Acacia Senegal
  • Panicim turgidum

Ziziphus mauritiana  (by Ethel Aardvark,2008)

Acacia Senegal (by World Agroforestry Centre,2010)

In Mauritania, one can generally encounter three major forms of silting, namely:

  1. Sheet erosion
  2. Simple barchan dunes
  3. Joined barchan dunes.

The above is a brief description of what I want to share with you. Thank you and see you soon.


(Mohamed Lemine Babe, President of the “Nouakchott Association Deserves a Tree” Initiative)