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             Desertification occurs when humans use the land to an extent that it becomes vulnerable to erosion by wind and water. These include:.
             -Cultivation of land with unsuitable terrain or soils.
             -Deforestation without adequate replanting, done for farming use.
             -Improper soil and water resource management - leads to increased erosion, salinisation and water logging of soil.
             -Overgrazing - too many livestock on too little land area.
             The problem is mainly because of the increasing intensity of land use associated with rapid population growth and high population densities. Poverty is a related issue, as the poor are often forced by their desperate situation to exploit the lands beyond what would normally be considered as a sustainable level of use. When coined with prolonged periods of below average rainfall, famines are often the tragic outcome. Land degradation and incidence of famine are two of the major factors contributing to the increasing problem of environmental refugees. .
             Africa is particularly vulnerable to land degradation. In the harsh climate, marginally productive land easily becomes sterile. Prolonged droughts, lasting for two to three years, are common over two-thirds of the continent. Even in "normal" years, rainfall is very unreliable and is some seasons it does not occur at all. Throughout much of he region rainfall has been below average for the last 15 to 20 years. Some experts argue that this prolonged drought reflects a change in the region's climate, brought about by the large-scale removal of the natural vegetation.
             The spread of deserts is not limited to Africa - it is now a global problem affecting two-thirds of the world's nations. It impacts of the livelihood of at least 850 000 000 people. The earth's poorer nations are not the only ones affected, although they may be the worst off. It is estimated that 1.7 billion tones annually is either washed or blown away each year.

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