Desertification and Environmental Management in Botswana

  • Michael B. Kwesi Darkoh


Botswana straddles the Tropic of Capricorn. It is a land-locked country with an area of 582,000 square kilometres, 80 percent of which is covered by the Kalahari Desert. The extent of the latter gives a misleading impression of Botswana as a country covered by an unproductive desert. The Kalahari, however, is not a true desert: it is covered by a vegetation mantle that ranges from woodland and close-tree savannah in the north, to low tree and shrub savannah in the south and west. There are four main ecological regions in the country the hardveld, which occupies most of the eastern part of the country, the sandveld, which covers most of the Kalahari desert, the alluvial plains of the Okavango-Chobe system, and the lacustrine plains of the Makgadikgadi Pans (Table 1). There is no true desert in Botswana, but areas covered with sand dunes do occur, especially in the west and south-west. However, except for the Okavango-Chobe area in the north, the country suffers from a general scarcity of surface water.


Land Degradation Wind Erosion Integrate Water Resource Management Okavango Delta Grazing Resource 
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© Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) 1999

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  • Michael B. Kwesi Darkoh

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