Environmental issues of the Bedouin People

From Bedouininfo, the free wikispace


The Bedouin are a nomadic people living in the deserts of the Middle East. A majority of the Bedouin are animal herders, as such the condition of the land is very important to them. They need ample space for their flocks and herds, the land must be able to support the numbers of animals that they own, but because of manmade borders they have been limited in space and smaller tracts of land must support larger numbers of animals.They did not traditionally grow their own food and as such are primarily concerned with the natural foliage for their animals to eat. The cattle herds need the most land but they primarily found in Sudan and Southern Arabia, however the sheep and goat herders also have large flocks that need to be moved around to prevent overgrazing. The camel herders face similar problems.
The issue of grazing is directly tied to another problem for the Bedouin, desertification. Desertificationis the proses by which life giving lands become desert due to the actions of men. Overgrazing, caused by the land constraints that developed because of politicalborders, leads to desertification, as the animals eat the plants the plants die When the plants die the soil that their roots held in place becomes liable to be washed or blown away by the elements.

After the plants are gone the soil hold less moister and the water evaporates quickly. Once in the air it is blown away. With less water in the local environment less rain falls and water table starts to drop. The end result is that there is no longer water that can be drawn from wells, there is no longer water that falls from the sky, the grown is loose and crumbles away, and no plants grow.
Living in an arid environment the elements are naturally an issue that the Bedouin need to address. The sun and sand are easily dealt with; even crossing the desert is easy for the Bedouin, facilitated by the use of camels. They keep out the sun and sand with their heavy clothing. Their desert home are tents, easily pitched and collapsed for travel and protection. They have learned how to fend off the animals of the desert, the hand movements and way of walking to scare off hyenas.