Frequent droughts and floods in eastern Africa can partly be blamed on
widespread deforestation in the region, experts have said.
"Trees actually do two processes. They drill water into the ground. They funnel
water into underground aquifers where it is stored to supply rivers during
drought," Nick Nuttal, spokesman for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
"They also hold soil. Where there are no trees, the soil is washed away into
rivers causing siltation into the oceans choking coral reefs," he told IRIN on
the sidelines of the 6-17 November conference of the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change in Nairobi. "The link between deforestation and drought is very
The loss of ground cover due to deforestation resulted in flash floods during
heavy rainfall, leading to soil erosion. "That is the start of desertification,"
said Beneah Odhiambo, a ...