World news ,


Madrid, Spain


Madrid, Spain


On June 17th the World Day to combat desertification and drought is celebrated to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.

Meaning of desertification

Desertification refers to the persistent degradation of dryland ecosystems by climatic variations and human activities. It occurs on all continents and affects the livelihoods of millions of people.

Desertification occurs due to a long-term failure between balancing human demand for ecosystem services and the ecosystem’s capacity of supply. The pressure is increasing on dryland ecosystems for providing services such as food, forage, fuel, building materials, and water which is needed for humans, livestock, irrigation, and sanitation. This increase is attributed to a combination of human factors (such as population pressure and land use patterns) and climatic factors (such as droughts).


How can the architecture and engineering sectore help in order to reduce desertification and drought?

The architecture and engineering sector should also try to reduce desertification and drought when implementing projects. Houses should be built to save water and have a way to use rainwater as efficiently as possible. In addition, cities should be built with as much green spaces as possible, so that the roots of trees can hold the soil together and help to reduce soil erosion from wind and rain.

What is effect of drought?

Drought can also cause long-term public health problems, including shortages of drinking water and poor-quality drinking water. It affects the air quality, sanitation, hygiene, food and nutrition. Drought can also cause “West Nile Virus” carried by mosquitoes breeding in stagnant water.


Solution to reduce desertification and drought

Planting more trees - the roots of trees hold the soil together and help to reduce soil erosion from wind and rain.

Improving the quality of the soil - this can be managed by encouraging people to reduce the number of grazing animals they have and grow crops instead. The animal manure can be used to fertilise the crops grown. Growing crops in this way can improve the quality of the soil as it is held together by the roots of plants and protected from erosion. This type of farming is more sustainable.

Water management - water can be stored in earth dams in the wet season and used to irrigate crops during the dry season. This is an example of using appropriate technology to manage water supplies in the desert environment.

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