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Burkina Faso Hit Hard by Drought and Desertification

Just east of capital Ouagadougou, once fertile land is now dry. The area used to support generations of farmers, but families now can only scrape a living. Under a burning sun, Julienne Rouamba works on the land she farmed for almost two decades. But gathering pebbles is all the land is good for now, desiccated through years of drought, the erosion of the top soil. From dawn till dusk she gathers the gravel and will sift and grade it before selling it to visiting merchants. The few dollars she makes a week is important for her family’s income. Other families in the area have been forced to do the same. The slow advance of desertification, comes as populations from the north and across the Sahel are being pushed from their homes by violence linked to jihadists.