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In Nigeria's Sahel, Sand Swallows Houses, Roads And Towns - Lagos Daily Champion [View All]

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 12:48 PM
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In Nigeria's Sahel, Sand Swallows Houses, Roads And Towns - Lagos Daily Champion
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Ciroma Mohammed is standing on the spot he says was once occupied by his house in north-east Nigeria. "We lose houses to the desert every year," he says from the village of Bulamadu in Yobe State. The fine sand is swallowing up houses and roads every year. Almost all the villagers in this dusty arid region say they have lost homes and farms to the Sahara Desert which is expanding southwards.

"What we do is that when the sand moves and buries our homes and farms and even our wells, we simply keep retreating southwards," says Aminu Mahmud, another villager who says he has already lost two different houses to the sand. He says the situation deteriorates every April when strong pre-rainy season sandstorm sweep sand into their settlements. "The deserts unrelenting onslaught is pushing us further away from our original homes and it seems theres absolutely nothing we can do about it," Mr. Mahmud says. "The desert has swallowed up our houses, our farms, our roads, our lives. It has changed our livelihoods."

A middle-aged Muslim woman who did not want her photograph taken says women in Bulamadu now spend most of the day travelling long distances in search of potable water. "Water has become more precious than gold now," the woman who introduced herself as Mairo said, as she sat frying bean cakes know as kosai.

"You wake up one morning and the water well that was there yesterday has been buried under the sand. As a result, most of us women have to trek long distances to get water." The villagers do not seem to see any link between their large appetite for firewood and the advancing sand dunes. They keep cutting down trees in the vicinity and using sun-dried branches as wood fuel or even as an income earner.

EDIT

http://www.champion-newspapers.com/daily%20champion%20f...


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