From Maiharaji Altine, Gusau
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state he has concluded arrangement to plant one Million arable trees in partnership with Nigeria’s Great Green Wall aimed at fighting desertification and soil erosion in the state.
The Director General Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications Malam Yusuf Idris said Matawalle divulged the information on Saturday, in Glasgow, United Kingdom when he hosted the Zamfara State Side Event at the ongoing COP 26.
He said, as one of the frontline desert states in Nigeria with its 50 per cent landmass under threat of desertification coupled with soil degradation occasioned by annual flooding caused during rainy seasons, his 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.
He lamented that climate change which is 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, noting that the state government is now chanelling resources to address all these 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.
The governor also said, the 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, while his 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 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