Desertification: Zamfara to plant one million arable trees

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From Maiharaji Altine Gusau

Zamfara state government has concluded arrangement to plant one million arable trees in the state in partnership with Nigeria’s Great Green Wall aimed at fighting desertification and soil erosion in the state. 

Gov Matawalle (second from right) with SSG Kabiru Balarabe (front) during the visit

In a statement, the Director General, Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications, Government House Gusau, Yusuf Idris said, the Governor made the pronouncement on Saturday in Glasgow, United Kingdom when he hosted ‘Zamfara State Side Event’ at the ongoing COP 26.

Matawalle said, “As one of the frontline desert states in Nigeria with its 50 percent landmass under threat of desertification coupled with soil degradation occasioned by annual flooding caused during rainy seasons, my administration ventured into the scheme to save the largely agrarian society of the state farming millet, guinea-corn, maize, rice and other crops and guaranteeing food security of Nigeria”.

The Governor lamented that climate change which was a major driving force to armed banditry bedeviling the state was the resultant effect of the taking over of pastoralists’ grazing reserves, water and resting points.

He stressed that the state government was now chanelling resources to address all the challenges including the establishment of modern pastoral settlements known as RUGA, where herders are being settled in one place with all required amenities provided for them and their animals and thereby stopping skirmishes between farmers and herders which gave birth to armed banditry in the first place.

Gov Matawalle, answering questions from newsmen

The Governor also said, tthe state government has already keyed into the World Bank funded Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes programme, which has desertification control and landscape management as one of its components.

He said, “My administration is doing its best to protect natural habitats, protect and restore the eco-system and reclaim the land by building defences including resilient infrastructure and agriculture”.

“The state government however requires collaboration with partners to raise the finances that will strategically support this drive”.

Zamfara State’s delegates at the event were Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Kabiru Balarabe, Honourable Commissioner of Environment, Dr Nura Isah Gusau, Honourable Commissioner of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Faika Ahmad and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Bilateral Affairs, Dr Suleiman Shu’aibu Shinkafi 

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