By Rabiu Sani
Maiduguri – Borno Government on Monday said it had concluded arrangements to raise one million tree seedlings to enhance desertification control programme in the state.
The Commissioner of Environment, Mr Kaka Shehu, made the disclosure at the inauguration of the fuel-efficient stove production centre at Gongulon community in Jere Local Government Area of the state.
Shehu, represented by Alhaji Mala Barma, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the seedlings would be distributed to people, public institutions and organisations for planting, this year.
He further disclosed that the ministry would establish plant nursery in the 27 local government councils to enhance tree planting in communities.
The commissioner explained that the measure was imperative to discourage tree feeling, protect forest resources and control desert encroachment.
He lauded the fuel-efficient stove production centre initiated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), adding that it would reduce consumption of firewood and check indiscriminate feeling of trees.
Shehu reiterated state government’s commitment to protect the environment and fast-track implementation of the Great Green Wall project.
Earlier, Mr Macki Tall, FAO’s Deputy Country Representative, said the production centres were established in collaboration between the organisation, Borno State Ministry of Environment and the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development.
Tall said the stove production centres were established in Maiduguri, Jere and Konduga Local Government Areas of the state.
He explained that the programme was designed to reduce the use of firewood, encourage development of alternative energies, control deforestation and provide alternative livelihoods to the people.
“Limited access to energy is a critical issue in the North-East and poses serious challenges to a large part of the population.
“The high reliance on firewood puts increasing amounts of pressure on the natural environment.
“Deforestation and unsustainable firewood collection contribute to the changing climate and leave vulnerable ecosystem less protected against drought and erosion, especially in a conflict situation,’’ he said.
According to him, the organisation has trained 100 people in the production of stove and business management to enable them manage the centres.
Tall also said the organisation planned to distribute 5, 000 fuel-efficient stoves to deserving households to enable them meet their energy needs. (NAN)