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The Sahel region is the semi-arid transition zone, dominated by grasslands and acacia savanna, located between the Sahara desert and the tropical savanna. The Sahel stretches more than 5,000 km across Africa, from the Atlantic Ocean (Senegal, Mauritania) to the Red Sea (Sudan).

The few months of rainy season in the Sahel are much needed in these hot and sunny parts of Africa and key factor for the food security and livelihood of the people.

The name Sahel can be translated from Arabic as coast or shore, painting us the picture of the moving shoreline between vegetation and the desert along the year, as exemplified by this pair PROBA-V 300m images. They were captured in February, in the dry season, and September, towards the end of the Sahelian rains.

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© ESA-BELSPO 2017, produced by VITO
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Discover more about our planet with the Earth from Space video programme. Join ESA every Friday at 10:00 CEST for an 800 km-high tour with spectacular images from Earth-observing satellites.

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The Earth Watching project is an ESA/ESRIN service to help local authorities and to promote the benefits of remote sensing data during emergencies, sending images and articles to newspapers, magazines and TV stations.

The Earth Watching website features not only imagery of natural disasters, but also promotes various satellite remote sensing applications through images and articles. Some examples are shown in the special events part of the website.

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