11:40am The Man Who Stopped the Desert – 64 min. – LNS
Director: Mark Dodd
As early as the 1970s, desertification began to creep southwards in the land between the Sahara Desert and forests of tropical Africa. By the 1980s the region suffered from regular droughts and starvation. People fled to the cities and many villages became deserted. Yacouba Sawadogo, a farmer living in northern Burkina Faso, decided he would remain steadfast against the desert. By reviving and adapting an ancient farming technique known as Zai, Yacouba began to grow crops successfully on previously abandoned land. Yacouba’s hardest battle was not with the elements, but with the people around him. On every side he faced opposition to his techniques. Many thought his ideas were crazy. Over time, his successes became legendary.