BIRNIN KEBBI – Two emirs in Kebbi have pledged to mobilise their subjects to commence tree planting in support of the afforestation programme to check desertification in the state.
The Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mohammed, and that of Gwandu, Alhaji Mohammed Bashar, made the pledge when the Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam, paid them advocacy visit in Birnin Kebbi.
Mohammed said that he would mobilise his people to plant trees, noting that environmental issues were matters and should be tackled with all seriousness.
“I will tell the entire village heads to support tree planting, especially the Greet Green Wall (GGW) Project, aimed at combating desertification.
“I am happy that you have come to see things yourself; other government functionaries should emulate the minister by seeing things themselves before taking decisions.
“Anyone who is concerned about the survival of the people is welcome to the emirate and God will reward such a person,’’ he said.
Similarly, Bashar said that he would mobilise his people to support tree planting, especially the GGW Project, saying that the project was for the benefit of his people.
“We are in support of the Federal Government projects in the environment sector, and we are happy that the minister has visited to explain the importance of the project to us.’’
Earlier, Mallam told the emirs that the Federal Government was determined to support the planting of more trees in their areas, adding that this would not be possible without the cooperation of the communities.
According to her, the Federal Government will execute the GGW project in collaboration with the communities.
She said the government would hand over the project to the respective owners of the land for permanent ownership and full economic benefits.
The minister said all tiers of government as well as traditional rulers in the region had a role to play in ensuring the success of the GGW.
She, however, enumerated the benefits of the project to include shelter cover for affected communities and ozone friendly environment.
She said that the availability of economic trees would lead to abundant fruits, including mango, orange, guava, plantain, and pineapple, among others.
According to her the project will create direct and indirect jobs estimated at over five million, provide grazing areas in the benefiting states and reduce migration of cattle rearers.
There would also be availability of wood and general forestry resources as well as parks for tourist attractions, she said.
Mallam was in Kebbi on a two-day sensitisation and awareness campaign visit to traditional rulers, state government officials and the people on the GGW.
The GGWP is a project developed by African Union to address social, economic and environmental impact of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara regions.
The Project is expected to rehabilitate more than 22,000 hectares of degraded lands in the 11 frontline states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara. (NAN)