While all deserts, including the Sahara, increase in size during the dry season and decrease during the wet season, human-caused climate change in conjunction with natural climate cycles, are causing the Sahara desert to grow more and shrink less. Since 1920, the Sahara has grown beyond its initial boundaries and gobbled up more space, growing by nearly 10 percent. The desert is advancing south into more tropical terrain, turning green vegetation dry and soil once used for farming into the barren ground. Despite the Global North being the most significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, it is people like those living in the Sahel who are paying the price.
Ten African countries are moving ahead with an ambitious pan-African effort to protect arable land from the encroaching Sahara —by planting trees from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east. Dubbed The Great Green Wall, it is an African-led movement with an ambition to grow an 8,000km NEWEST WONDER OF THE WORLD across the entire width of Africa, designed to trap the sands of the Sahara, halt the advance of the desert and restore 100 million hectares of land. It was initially intended to be just a line of trees, stretching east to west, to help push back the Sahara’s expansion down south.