Green Legacy Crucial to Combat Drought, Desertification in Horn of Africa: Journalist

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Addis Ababa June 29/2022/ENA/ The Green Legacy initiative is crucial to confront drought and desertification in the Horn of Africa regions, a Sudanese journalist and researcher Hali Yahya said.

The journalist told ENA that the Green Legacy initiative is very important for Ethiopia and plays a positive role for the whole region to confront successive drought and wide ranging desertification particularly in the Horn of Africa and Nile Basin region.

“The initiative in its entirety is positive and aims to confront drought and desertification in the entire region.”

Stating that the climatic changes facing the world have greatly affected the Africa and the Horn of Africa in particular, the journalist pointed out that some regions in Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and other regions have witnessed successive drought and desertification in recent times.

“The issue of climate change and environmental degradation is a topic that does not concern Ethiopia alone, but these challenges are shared by many African countries, but also the whole world.”

According to UN statistics, since the year 2000, the incidence and duration of drought in the Earth has increased by 29 percent with 55 million people directly exposed to drought each year, while drought is expected to affect three third of the world’s population by 2050.

Hali urged the countries in the region to cooperate and put concerted efforts to combat against the shared matter of the consequences of climate change and reap the common benefits from their cooperation.

There are strategies for all countries set at the national, regional and federal levels to achieve sustainable development and joint cooperation to resist many forms of drought and desertification, he noted.

Pointing out that several countries such as Madagascar, Qatar and India have planted 66 billion seedlings, the journalist praised Ethiopia for planting more than 18 billion over the past three years alone.  

“Now Ethiopia has been able to plant more than 18 billion seedlings within a short period and has been able to plant 350 million seedlings in one day,” he noted.

Ethiopia has been calling and requesting support for this initiative that confronts drought and desertification in the region.

According to Nile Story briefing note published recently, that lack of forests in the Ethiopian highlands are negatively affecting the downstream countries in terms of severe flooding, sedimentation and water availability of the Nile River.

The watershed degradation that originates from the Ethiopian highlands costs the downstream countries annually 670 million USD, it stated.   

If the countries remain reluctant to take the necessary measures in order to tackle the challenges, this cost is expected to climb to about 4.5 billion USD over the next 25 years, it added.  

The Sudanese journalist said Sudan and Egypt are expected to fight desertification by integrating regional efforts.  

“Now Sudan is one of the countries facing the challenges of drought and desertification, and there are desert areas in western Egypt. When these efforts are at the state level, the results may be within the state, but when the efforts are concerted between these countries, the benefits are shared,” he observed.

Ethiopia is cultivating seedlings for the fourth year in a row, as it was able to plant 18 billion seedlings within 3 years, and planned to plant 6 billion seedlings during the current rainy season, in addition to providing seedlings for planting in neighboring countries such as Djibouti.

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