Why the Baobab is so important to Africa

A recent study showed that climate change might be blamed for the deaths of some of Africa’s oldest and biggest baobabs. In Senegal, local researchers estimate the nation has lost half its baobabs in the past 50 years to drought and development.

One of the biggest developments in the country is outside Dakar, where Senegal’s president is building an entirely new city, in the middle of a baobab forest. Officials have pledged to replant any trees they raze.

On the far edges of the development, construction workers were building new homes. The corpse of one baobab lay on the ground, a musty smell lingering at its exposed hollow interior. The smooth marks of an ax scarred its trunk.

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