Life in the Sahara and the Sahel

Life in the Sahara and
the Sahel
Adapting to a Desert Region
• Desertification- process by which land becomes
more and more dry until it turns to desert.
• Drought- an unsusually long period in which little
or no rain falls
• Marginal land- land that is not well suited for
growing crops
• Pastoral nomads- groups of herders who move
with their animals from place to place in search
of pasture and water
The Desert Environment
• physical characteristics
– landforms: ergs, regs, and hammadas.
– two rivers, the Nile and the Niger.
– Desert temperatures vary greatly between
day and night.
– Rain is unpredictable
Adaptations to Life in the Desert
1/3 are pastoral nomads.
Tuareg wear long, loose clothing
Camels for transportation.
Drilling machines create new oases.
The Oasis Environment
• Oases are tiny islands of fresh water in
the desert. ( natural & man-made)
• Date palms are the most important
Adaptations to Life in the Oases
• grow cash crops
• nomads trade for water and food.
• Farmers build windbreaks to protect
their fields
• People sometimes buy water or walk to
distant wells
The Sahel Environment
• marginal for farming.
• grasslands, acacia trees, baobab trees,
and small bushes.
• Drought
• Desertification
Adaptations to Life in the Sahel
• Farmers planted crops that grow in dry
• shifting agriculture
• Herders moved their herds
• testing new ways of farming
• use coal instead of wood for cooking.