The 2020 seedlings distribution has been flagged off in Katsina State with stakeholders optimistic that in a few years to come, desertification and other environmental-related disasters would have reduced drastically.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony held in Mashi Local Government Area of the state, the desk officer of the immediate past five years European Union’s Improving The Fuel Wood Balance Project, Mannir Gafai, announced that over 350,000 assorted seedlings have been raised by the beneficiaries of the project for distribution to registered farmers.
According to him, the essence is to confirm to the European Union and other implementing partners that beneficiaries of the project can still sustain the tempo in complementing the effort of fighting desertification in northern Nigeria.
In an effort to reclaim the degraded land in Katsina state, the European Union had over the last five years been working with the Federal Government, the Katsina state government and the residents via the Fuel Wood Balance project, FUWOBA.
OXFAM and the International Centre For Energy, Environment and Development, ICEED are the implementing agencies and seven Local Government Areas have benefited from the project.
The plan was to encourage tree planting and designing energy-efficient clean cookstoves.
The afforestation project had at the end, raised about eight million assorted seedlings as against the mandate to plant and maintain 5.5 million trees, produce and disseminate 35 thousand efficient clean cookstoves across the seven benefiting LGAs of Baure, Daura, Dutsi, Mashi, Mai Adu’a, Sandamu and Zango.
On January 28 this year, the European Union-funded, Fuel Wood Balance project closed out, with the implementing agencies appealing to the Katsina state government to replicate the project in the remaining 27 out of 34 LGAs of the state.
Introduced in September 2014, the project was able to plant about eight million trees and reclaimed 147 hectres of land.
Barely six months down the line, it appears that the beneficiaries of the project came in full force to sustain it.
The project sustainability chairman, Abba Balarabe, explained that adequate measures have been put in place to ensure that the beneficiaries are closely monitored to ensure sustainability.
He said from 1979-1998, it was the tradition of the government to come for tree planting campaign annually where assorted tree seedlings are being given to people to plant.
On his part, the chairman of the multi-stakeholders coordination platform Usman Ahmed expressed optimism that in few years to come desertification and other environmental-related disasters will be drastically reduced.
It’s expected that the impressive milestone recorded by the FUWOBA Project will continue to be sustained in order to ensure that desertification and other environmental-related disasters are drastically reduced.