From Uche uche, Damaturu.
Communities in Nangere local government area of Yobe state were yesterday given thousands of tree seedlings in government effort to fight the menace of desertification that has reduced the arable lands in the state to sand dunes, thus affecting the agricultural productivity of the lands in addition to displacing many communities.
It was with this programme in mind that the Yobe state government constituted a 12 man committee on environmental protection, headed by the state deputy governor, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, charged with the mandate to ensure the sustenance of the campaign aimed at fighting the menace of desert encroachment, unlawful failing of trees, bush burning and ensuring proper sanitation in the state.
Noting that previous efforts by the state government alone in the fight against desert encroachment, through the planting of trees and nurturing them, has not yielded any meaningful result; the committee evolved a new strategy that now involves the whole communities in the planting of live tree seedlings and nurturing them.
The new strategy is the involvement of individuals with incentive attached in which the state government promises to give each one who planted a tree to a certain maturity level, would be given a token gift of N1000, and if a person is able to plant ten trees for example he would receive the sum of N10, 000.
The strategy also includes the involvement of supervisors who would monitor each tree to ensure that needed help is given to the owner to sustain the growth of the tree.
During the flagging of the campaign in the local government, the traditional ruler, His royal Highness, the Mai of Tikau, Mohammed Abubakar Grema, and a member of the state house of assembly, were also given a tree to plant.
Speaking during the occasion, which took place at the premises of the Emir of Nangere the deputy governor, who is also the chairman of the committee on environmental protection, said the exercise is meant to provide a good sanitary environment that is conducive for a healthy living, agricultural productivity, and reduce the encroachment of desert in the area.
Similarly, the Chairman of Nangere local government council, Alh. Baba Ibrahim Langawa, assured that the council and its communities would continue to complement the effort of the state government in its program towards environmental protection against desertification, pointing out that towards this goal, the council had, from 2009 to 2013, organized tree planting campaign competitions among its five districts resulting in the planting of a total of 336,357, to prevent the fast encroachment of desert in the area.