Green Wall Warriors is a reforestation project that focuses on the construction of the Great Green Wall in the Sahel and Gambia in particular. The reforestation of a degraded area is more complex than the reforestation of areas where more rain falls and where the soil is already fertile. Therefore, this project is different and more extensive than many other reforestation projects.
How Degraded Areas Create Climate Refugees
Degraded land is almost completely lifeless. You can plant a tree but the chance that this tree survives the intense heat and lack of water is small. This is also one of the reasons that more and more forests and fertile soils disappear. The top layer of the earth has become so hard that the rain that is still falling is no longer taken up by the soil. In this way, more and more areas are becoming completely lifeless. The groundwater disappears slowly and forests, animals and people can no longer survive. The result is a massive refugee flow towards Europe because all areas are extinct. This is called degraded country. Nature itself cannot reverse this proces and if we want to stop the Sahara from expanding we should do something.
The GWW Concept
The concept behind the GWW project is breaking of the hard layer of topsoil. This is done by digging deep trenches in our pilot area’s. These trenches will harvest the rain that falls during the rainy season. The trenches catch thousands liters of rainwater and ensure that this water can penetrate the ground. The result of this is that the groundwater will come back to level and life becomes possible again. Actually a very simple story. Plants will be able to grow again and the processed land will be transformed into a healthy environment. An environment where people will be able to farm again and to live from the land.
To accelerate the process of real forest, the GWW project will realize tree nurseries and seed banks spread throughout the country. With these seed banks thousands of kilos of seeds are bought from the locals. With these seeds, the project’s pilot area’s are sown. In addition, tens of thousands of trees will be planted in the trenches. One year after the rainy season the area will be completely transformed into a green sea and potentially a new forest. After 15 years a new young forest should be developed.