BIRNIN KEBBI – The Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam, has called on Nigerians, especially residents of desertification prone-areas, to plant trees to protect the environment from degradation.
“If environment conducive for living is not there, farming will be affected, livestock will be affected and human lives will be affected as well.
“You see what happened in Zamfara, a village that has no tree was destroyed by windstorm few days ago and you can see their willingness to protect their environment.
Mallam said that the ministry would inaugurate the project in Kebbi soon as part of the afforestation initiative to combat desertification in the state.
“The communities too have their own role to play in raising the seedlings, planting the seedlings, nurturing and ensuring that the project succeeds.
“ So, Mr President is willing to come into the states to alleviate the suffering of the people through this great project,’’ she said.
She said that the project was designed to alleviate the suffering of the people living in those states in addition to addressing desertification.
Similarly, Dr Bukhar Hassan, Director of Drought, Desertification and Amelioration Department, Federal Ministry of Environment, expressed optimism that the project would address poverty in the frontline states.
Hassan said the project had a total of 12 million hectares of land covering 15 kilometre wide from Kebbi to Borno.
“We have been talking with the European Union for over a year and EU has agreed to support the project in Katsina State.
The Great Green Wall project is a project developed by African Union to address social, economic and environmental impact of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara zones.
The project is mobilising 11 countries, including Nigeria to construct “a wall of trees’’ stretching 4,300 miles long and nine miles wide across the continent, from the Republic of Djibouti to Senegal.
The countries are Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sudan and Chad. (NAN)