Greening Chalbi Desert

NEMA, partners embark on a plan to green Chalbi desert during the Desertification and Drought Day celebrations at Korolle Oasis

The World Desertification and Drought is a United Nations observance celebrated each year on 17 June. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, highlighting methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought. In Kenya, the event was celebrated at Korolle Oasis in Chalbi Desert, Marsabit County. The desert covers an area of 100,000 kilometer square. The theme for the event was, ‘Restoration, Land, Recovery’ and the clarion call was greening Chalbi desert. Korolle Oasis is in the middle of Chalbi Desert, Marsabit County which acts as a watering point where Rendille, Gabra and Borana come to water their animals.
“We came up with a structure, called Environmental Management Committees, composed of local communities and
government agencies working together.We have EMCs around the forest because communities own this resource,” NEMA Director General, Mamo B. Mamo. He added that, “There are indications that the desert is moving from where it was. We are putting up a green wall to ensure it doesn’t spread further causing human suffering.
Human activities are leading to the rapid spread of the desert compared to natural causes. It is a big challenge to plant trees in ASAL areas. What we have been sensitizing people on is to do local seed collection. The native species like acacia do very well here.” The Authority and partners planted over 10,000 trees at Kargi Centre and Korolle
Oasis during the event. The NEMA Director General accompanied by CEO Wild Wide Fund, Mr. Mohamed
Awer also visited Lake Paradise in Marsabit Forest to assess its conservation status, as build up towards.

The Chalbi Desert is a real gem, it is located in Marsabit County, east of the famous Lake Turkana (the largest de-sert lake in Kenya), spreading to the Ethiopian border. Covering an area of 100.000 kilometer square, the Chalbi Desert is one of the hottest and arid places in Kenya.

Interesting Facts about Chalbi Desert Chalbi Desert is a stretch of coarse sand spiced up with pure rocks and immense clay where there are al-so ashgray ridges and broken clusters of tiny huts.
There are pans of salt in the desert which is picked up by many pastoralists and used as a natural animal’s salt
lick.
The desert is surrounded by volcanic hills that create a magical panorama with only selected animals and
vegetation that can withstand hostile climates in the entire Sub-Saharan regions.
The southern part of the desert is home to the Rendille while the eastern part which is towards the Ethiopian
border is home to the Gabbra People.
It’s believed that there was a lake in the Chalbi Desert that has dried up a thousand years ago, therefore it was
named the Chalbi Desert which means bare and salty.
Climate
Chalbi Desert is the hottest and most arid area in Kenya Average daytime temperatures range from 109 F (43 C)
to 115 F (46 C) degrees whereas the temperature drops to around 57-59 F (14 -15 C) degrees at night.
The area experiences two dry seasons and two rainy seasons. The long-dry season takes place from July to
October, and the short dry season is in January and Feb-ruary with parts of March.
The long rainy season occurs in April and May through parts of June while the short one happens in November
and December.

Things to Do in Chalbi Desert
1- Desert Safari
Chalbi Desert has a lot to offer in picturesque sceneries and tranquil oases. While being there, enjoy a perfect
short drive desert safari. There are excellent for sand dunes for racing and surfing.
2- Camel Ride ( the Ship of the Desert)
Exploring the desert on the back of a camel is quite im-pressive and enjoyable. It is an ideal way to enjoy the
de-sert and to know your Country and the people. It is a unique lifetime experience.
3- Culture Tour
A desert Safari in Chalbi Desert gives visitors the oppor-tunity to interact with local communities like
the Rendille, Gabbra, Turkana, Samburu, and others. It is a way to ex-plore their culture and to know their
traditions and lifestyle