Due to lack of water, saplings have to be irrigated by hand with plastic barrels.
The Gamberi Desert, on the outskirts of Jalalabad, is home to 1,000 families. It’s a land of extremes: harsh, dry, sandy, and hot, making life a struggle for the people who live there.
Many years ago, it was different. The Gamberi Desert was a forest of indigenous bushes that held the soil together and allowed life to grow. But decades of conflict and poverty forced communities to cut down the bushes and use the wood cooking and heating.
Deforestation led to desertification, sand storms and the erosion of agricultural fields.
To change this, UNDP and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme has planted some 60,000 tamarisk trees – a fast growing, drought-resistant species that does well in these conditions. At the same time, educational programmes have encouraged local people to look after the trees.