Meet Yacouba Sawadogo, farmer from Burkina Faso who turned a desert in a full-fledged forest

Meet Yacouba Sawadogo, farmer from Burkina Faso who turned a desert in a full-fledged forest

The 70-year-old man is hailed as "the man who stopped the desert" for his efforts to bring about greenery in the areas close to the Sahara desert.

An elderly farmer from Burkina Faso named Yacouba Sawadogo is garnering praises recently for the relentless work he has done to coax a forest out of desert-like soil in the country.

The 70-year-old man is hailed as "the man who stopped the desert" for his efforts to bring about greenery in the areas close to the Sahara desert.

In the 1970s and 80s, a terrible drought left the entire land devoid of water. While many left the villages, Sawadogo stayed back instead. However, it was extremely difficult for him to survive there as wind erosion, water shortages, overgrazing, and rampant population growth degraded the land, making it all the more unsuitable. Being next to the desert made the matters worse as it became completely rain-starved.

It was then when he decided to grow trees in the area to facilitate hydration. He dug up what is known as 'zai pits' in which trees were planted to trap water. He also used stones to help and store water inside them.

Meet Yacouba Sawadogo, farmer from Burkina Faso who turned a desert in a full-fledged forest
Meet the man who spent 30 years to turn his backyard into a forest!

Speaking to Reuters, he said, "This forest that you see today was really a desert. There was not even a shade of a single tree here."

Sawadogo's efforts did not go in vain. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the rainfall helped collect water in the pits that increased the crop yields by up to 500%. A journal in 2018 also stated that these pits have massively improved food security, groundwater levels, tree cover and biodiversity. Burkina Faso has become better this way than what they were like 30 years back.

Way to go, Yacouba Sawadogo! You are doing god's work by conserving water and protecting nature around you.

No stories found.
Indians In Gulf
www.indiansingulf.in