Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management (CADEP-SFM)


Title :Sand Dunes Fixation for Livelihood Improvement and Resettlement in Desert Areas of North Kordofan State, Sudan

Audience :Farmers and livestock owners
Country :sudan
Category :Land Management


North Kordofan State in Sudan lies between latitudes 300-27’ and 220-23’ east and longitudes 140-12’ and 160-18’ north. The State has a population of about 354,000 people, whose livelihood activities are predominately agricultural in nature, mainly shifting cultivation and traditional livestock rearing systems. Bara is a region within the North Kordofan State. The region is semi-arid and receives rainfall of 150 - 250 mm per year. The soils are sandy in nature with low fertility. Large sand dunes are common in north and west of Bara. Due to climatic conditions of the area and overgrazing, natural resources have been heavily depleted leading to land degradation. This has resulted in negative environmental, economic and social impacts, which require urgent attention through prioritization of relevant development programmes and plans. A project was therefore undertaken in the area through the Arab Center for Agriculture (AKSAD), and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Sudan. The project was designed to combat desertification and rehabilitate the desert areas.


• Rehabilitation of desert areas through sand dunes fixation
• Resettlement of the inhabitants of the area.
• Improve community livelihood and food security.


Vegetation recovery and enrichment planting was undertaken through broadcasting of seed in target areas. Some of the main species used in the vegetation cover enrichment planting and mechanical fixation include; Banicum species, Cenchrus species, and Zornia diphlla. Planting for reforestation purpose was done at the beginning of the rainy season. In areas that receive 250-400 mm rainfall per year, Acacia senegal and Leptadenia pyrotechnica were preferred. These species have shown fast growth and high survival rate of up to 80% in plantation establishment.

Sand dunes fixation

Sand dunes fixation is undertaken through mechanical fixation and bio-fixation.

Mechanical fixation of sand dunes

The area affected by sand dunes is 80% of the north east region of Sudan. The sand dune carrying winds are dominant in the winter season. Three types of mechanical fixation techniques have been adopted in the area. These are: Rectangular, circular, and square.


Mechanical fixation of sand dunes

sanddune2       sanddune3
Bio fixation of sand dunes


• Stabilization of sand dunes
• Reduced wind speeds leading to improved growth of plants.
• Change in behaviour of individuals and pattern of construction: The local community is now using sand bricks in construction, as opposed to using wood, thereby reducing the number of trees cut for construction purposes.
• Increased vegetation cover.
• Improved plant and animal biodiversity through annual and perennial plants such as Saial and Seder, and the return of small burrowing animal.


The method is simple, easy to implement, using low cost locally available materials and therefore easy to disseminate.


• Sand dunes fixation technologies have been disseminated by local communities to other areas of the state such as Umm Quzin, Hamra al-Waz and Namla village.
• Collaboration between national and regional institutions working in the region has contribute to successful implementation of the project activities.


• High percentage of bare land at on average 28.1%.
• Low tree density, grass cover, and forage production at 25 tree/ha, 25.5%, and 80 g/m² respectively.
• High poverty rate in the state.


• The bio-physical process implemented in the area of the project and positive community participation enabled fixation of the sand dunes and converted the area from a desert to a productive area, which benefitted the community in restoring their natural environment.
• Raising awareness of the local population about desertification and land degradation through various strategies leads to higher adoption rates.


The positive effects of the project indicate that the ecosystem in the region is stabilizing due to success of the implemented activities and technologies. The activities of the project have been carried out with participation of the local community. The project has resulted in long-term environmental and societal benefit.

The authors thank the Arab Center for Agriculture –AKSAD, Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry in Sudan and the Umm Jumt People.

Shaza Elbaloula Ahmed Elmustafa and Howida Merghani Elmardi.

Contact Us


CADEP-SFM head office is located at KEFRI headquarters in Muguga. 23 km north-west of Nairobi, off Nairobi - Nakuru highway.
P.O. Box 20412 - 00200 Nairobi.

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