Desertification is a major issue throughout Africa, but there’s a simple way to stop the spread of deserts into fertile land: planting forests. The problem is that in the regions hardest hit by the phenomenon, there simply isn’t enough clean water to properly nurture the trees and keep them healthy. German scientists have collaborated with the Egyptian government to create a natural miracle by using ingenuity assisted by biology, the Serapium Forest in the middle of the desert, just two hours from Cairo. It comprises of about 494 acres (about 200 hectares) of both native and non-native trees like eucalyptus and mahogany, thriving regardless of the dry land and shortage of rain. Therefore, the secret is an irrigation system that crosses liquid nourishment to the trees via hose pipes, sourcing water from a adjacent sewage treatment plant.
Moreover, mechanical filters strain dirt and garbage from the wastewater, and then extra oxygen and microbes break down the enduring organic matter. Hence, to complete purification would be too expensive; so, some pollutants are left behind, with phosphates and nitrates. Though unamenable to the irrigation of eatable plants like fruits and vegetables, the lasting compounds make a rich fertilizer for trees to create firewood. In fact, the mix mimics that included in numerous commercial fertilizers.
Moreover, there’re other inherent ways that the environment supports flourishing plant life, too. Contrasting the scientists’ local German climate, Egypt doesn’t have severe, cold winters. The strong sunlight paired with the nutrient-infused water mean that eucalyptus grows four times faster here than it does in European country Germany. Further, the plantations deliver much-needed jobs for those tending to the trees, which take as few as 15 years to be ready for harvesting, as long as 350 cubic meters of wood per hectare a resource that would otherwise have to be imported. Hence, if satisfactory funding were acquired, 650,000 more hectares of desert terrain could be used for further wood production, and the similar process has enormous potential to be simulated in other regions, serving to sustain fertile land and work opportunities around the world.