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Dust and smoke: from desert and fire. Everyone south of the Sahara in Africa, and not just those in the region where I lived, knows them intimately. From Abidjan to Mombassa, Africans understands what these twinned hazes mean to their lives, their futures. Dual signs of the destruction of the savanna—born of the over-use of farmland and of wood burned as fuel—they’ve become omens, precursors of the desert sands certain to follow. Signals, they are, that life in the villages will only get harder as time passes. This is a story of dust and smoke--and elephants--in one small area in northern Togo.



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