Desertification: Zamfara to plant 1m trees

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In an attempt to fight desertification and soil erosion in the state, Zamfara state governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle said his administration in collaboration with Nigeria’s Great Green Wall will soon plant one million arable trees.

The director general public enlightenment media and communications Yusuf Idris has said in a statement Sunday.

He explained that the governor made the pronouncement on Saturday, in Glasgow, United Kingdom when he hosted the Zamfara state side event at the ongoing COP 26. 

He said, “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”.

According to him, his administration ventured into the scheme to save the largely agrarian society of the state who farm millet, guinea-corn, maize, rice and other crops in order guarantee food security of Nigeria.

Matawalle lamented that climate change which is a major driving force of armed banditry which is the effect of the taking over of pastoralists’ grazing reserves, water and resting points.

He said the government is now channeling resources to address all these including the establishment of modern pastoral settlements known as RUGA.

“The RUGA plan came in 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”. He said.

He further pointed out that his government has already key 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.