By Stanley Onyekwere
Worried by the increasing dangers of desertification and drought to the society, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Christian Ohaa has called for reinvigorated joint-action to effectively combat it.
Ohaa particularly noted that construction companies and housing developers in the nation’s capital city should make provisions for replacement of felled trees as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the flag-off of the ‘2019 FCT Tree Planting Campaign to mark the 25th anniversary of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, with the theme:’Let’s grow the future together ‘, the Permanent Secretary, said the event is intended to draw global attention to the United Nation’s Convention to Combat Desertification.
According to him: “Desertification remains one of the biggest and most serious environmental challenges of global proportions, because it affects all regions of the world and is characterized by the degradation of land in arid and semi-arid and sub-humid areas.
“The effects of desertification are equally serious and devastating because it primarily reduces the ability of land to support and sustain life. Desertification ensures that the land becomes less usable.
“Vegetation is lacked or damaged and famine inevitably occurs.Other effects include, increased gully erosions, sand storms,migration and death.”
Ohaa also urged nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and residents ofthe FCT to emulate 09 MC by joining the campaign to combat desertification and drought, as it will help to prevent desertification from occurring in the first place, adding that one of the most effective ways is by planting of trees.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Acting Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mr. Mohammed Suleiman, noted that Nigeria, including the FCT have been making progressive efforts to address desertification and drought through the annual tree planting exercise.
He further stated that this year’s event would engender some positive environmental changes that would ensure a better and more natural life for all.
However, in a pre event press briefing, the Director Parks and Recreation Arc. Ali Ukele said the tree planting will be carried out on the following routes : Kubwa road, Nnamdi Azikiww Express Way, Wise Zone rand possibly the Airport Road.
He further stated that they hoped that Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) would be achieved and will provide a solid basis for poverty reduction food and water security and climate change mitigation.