By Peter Uwumarogie
Gombe – The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has advised communities in Gombe State on the need to allocate land for tree planting within their communities to fight desertification.
Mr Daniel Wuave, NESREA acting Director, North-East Zone, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Monday that the fight against desertification is a challenge that affects all.
Desertification is the continuous degradation of biological potentials of land which can lead ultimately to desert-like conditions.
He said desertification reduces the sustainability of lands, making agriculturally productive lands to become barren and prone to wind, water erosion and other forms of degradation.
Wuave said the tree planting initiative has become an imperative tool for communities in the state to fight desertification.
The acting zonal director noted that the increasing rate of tree felling in the state required massive efforts at community level to fight the menace of desertification.
“Communities should allocate lands for plantings trees. We are calling on Gombe people to plant trees especially economic trees as they engage in farming activities. We must take seriously, the issue at the communal level.
“Such planting would serve as wind-breakers and also prevent flooding and erosion in some parts of the state, as well as providing good ventilation.”
Wuave said desertification has led to increase in drought and flash floods that are stronger, more frequent and widespread is destroying the land.
He therefore called on all communities to embrace tree planting initiative, as it take decades of concerted efforts to reverse the impacts of drought and desertification.
“ Today, we have adverse climatic conditions that exist as a result of deforestation which has made living difficult in some communities in Nigeria.
“This is why we are calling on communities to adopt this initiative.
“The rainfall is here; we must make-up for what have been lost to tree felling for fuel-wood.
“Since there are no good alternatives to fuel-wood in rural areas, let there be sustainable cutting down of trees.
“ This means that only matured trees should be harvested and young trees left to grow while planting new ones to replace the harvested ones through massive tree planting exercise by communities.
“Mixed planting should also be adopted. As you plant other crops, plant trees also to sustain the environment and mitigate the effect of deforestation,’’ he said.
He stressed that communities needed to be aware that tree planting remained the best way to sustaining the environment for future use, hence the need to support all government’s programmes toward afforesting the state.
While decrying that most communities often abandoned trees planted by NESREA and other environmental agencies of government for animals to feed on them, he charged communities to see such efforts as attempts to secure their environment.
He advised cooperate bodies and organisations in Gombe State to incorporate tree planting initiatives as part of their corporate social responsibility.