Life in the Sahara and the Sahel Adapting to a Desert Region Definitions • 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 places. • shifting agriculture • Herders moved their herds • testing new ways of farming • use coal instead of wood for cooking.