It is a willing to achieve the African dream for developing the dry lands and combating the desertification. Dry lands and desert represent 41.3% of world land. African continent has 60% of these suffered dry lands. Only 2.5 per cent of the water supply on earth is fresh water. Water scarcity is an issue of major concern. Drought disasters account for less than 20 per cent of all disaster occurrences in Africa, but they account for more than 80 per cent of all people affected by natural disasters.
Desertification is caused by multiple direct and indirect factors where scarce water is not only the reason but also the lost of land productivity is the issue that may due to the lack of water management. Dry lands ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation and inappropriate land use that result in under-development of economies and in entranced poverty among the affected population. Whereas over cultivation, inappropriate agricultural practices, overgrazing and deforestation have been previously identified as the major causes of land degradation and desertification, it is in fact a result of much deeper underlying forces of socio-economic nature, such as poverty and total dependency on natural resources for survival by the poor. It is also true to reiterate that desertification problems are best understood within the dictates of disparities of income and access to or ownership of resources.
The situation has in many cases led to great crises and loss of productive lands to the desertification process. It is needless to emphasize that Africa in general, and the Sahel countries in particular, are, in this regard, some of the most vulnerable areas in the world.
So, establishment of Desert Research Monitoring and Control Center, in Yobe State University is essential to serve combating desertification and development in north of Nigeria, West Africa and Sahel countries for solving the problems in this issue for the African countries.
Prof.Dr. Galal H.G. Hussein
Director, Desert Research Centre, YSU
International consultant & coordinator, Yobe State University, Nigeria
Former Vice Chairman of water resources and desert land,
Desert Research Center, Egypt