There is no environmental problem in the world that affects people, especially poor people, as extensively as land degradation or desertification. UNCOD defines desertification as ‘the diminution or destructing of the biological potential of land, which can ultimately led to the desert-like conditions’. The causes of desertification are numerous.
However, the important ones include climate change, overgrazing, deforestation and expansion of agriculture. About 35 per cent of the earth’s area (about 6.1 billion hectares) and 900 million people are affected by the problem of desertification. Desertification leads to loss of vegetation which forces men to migrate for their livelihood while the women are left behind to struggle on.