NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Land
degradation is to blame for food insecurity in Eastern Africa region, a Kenyan
scientist said on Friday.
a senior Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technician at the Regional Center
for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), African think tank on space
science, said a study being done using satellite data reveals that unsustainable
human activities are driving land degradation.
land for economic development and pressures from increasing population are
leading to unprecedented land use change that in turn leads to food insecurity,”
she told delegates attending a space science conference in Nairobi.
that RCMRD did a land degradation assessment in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania,
Djibouti, Somali, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan Eritrea, Rwanda and Burundi, and
found that Ethiopia, Kenya and Burundi are badly affected.
for land reclamation strategies in the three countries and the region in
general, especially within the wetland areas that are badly affected by human
is to blame for a loss in land productivity with impacts on livelihoods and the
economy,” Wangui added.
that RCMRD has shared the maps generated with various relevant government
agencies in the Eastern Africa region to enable them to make evidence-based
decisions related to national and regional ecosystem planning.
findings that have been generated since the study started in 2013 are currently
helping support policy review and harmonization on land development in the
that has a population of 230 million people has been facing food insecurity and
human activities that take place in already fragile areas and that are
aggravated by natural disturbances such as drought or flooding lead to land
degradation and thereafter desertification.
“We need to
enhance the use of earth observation data for improved decision making on
sustainable natural resource management,” she noted.
Africa region’s economic mainstay is agriculture, both livestock and crop
production, which provides the basis for food supplies and export earnings, as
well as employment for over 80 percent of the population.
agricultural sector (in its broadest sense) has a significant contribution to
make to the economic development of the region, generating nearly 70 percent of