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- Reforestation projects aimed at combating desertification in Chad and Cameroon, such as the Great Green Wall and the Reboisement 1400 projects, are experiencing increased deterioration of their forest ecosystems as a result of human actions.
- Faced with poverty and corruption, people in these regions indulge in abusive cutting of shrubs on a daily basis, even in protected areas, to make firewood for households, or to produce charcoal for commercial purposes.
- Environmental organizations, local elected representatives and local authorities are warning of the scale of this deforestation, which is encouraging the desert to advance into these areas.
- Alternative solutions to reduce abusive logging have been proposed and even implemented, but have not succeeded in diverting farmers from reforested areas.
MOKOLO, Cameroon — The sun is almost at its zenith this late morning on a Saturday in July in the village of Mansour-Sabongari.
Local young people, gathered at the foot of a shrub, chat in the shade of a forest plantation set up thanks to a project called Reboisement 1400, which has greened the landscape of Mansour-Sabongari, located in northern Cameroon in a savanna zone with a very hot desert climate, much to the delight of the villagers.
"Before, even during this period (the rainy season), it was really hot as soon as the sun came out. Now we don't feel the heat so much, and we can protect ourselves from the sun under these trees," says Idrissou Saliou, a young resident of the township.
In Gaoui, some 10 kilometers from N'Djamena, the capital of Chad, Roger Alkali, a Chadian, lounges in a reforested garden created by the Great Green Wall (Grande Muraille Verte) project. This gigantic initiative aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land in 11 Sahelian African countries by 2030.
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"We now breathe clean air compared with other places. Even if some of the site's neighbors often come and illegally cut down the trees to make wood. We are called upon to protect this green barrier to save us from the very hot climate."