Se­cu­rity chal­lenges and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of GGW

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

The se­cu­rity chal­lenge be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced in the north­west is af­fect­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Great Green Wall (GGW) project in the North-East, a check by the News Agency of Nige­ria re­veals.

The GGW project in­volves the es­tab­lish­ment of shel­ter­belt across 1, 500 kilo­me­ters in 11 states of the fed­er­a­tion.

In Yobe, where 323 kilo­me­ters of shel­ter­belt was to be planted, only 28 kilo­me­ters were cov­ered since the project took off in 2013.

The project is also threat­ened by the de­ci­sion of the state gov­ern­ment to scrap the Min­istry for En­vi­ron­ment.

Al­haji Garba Tahir, erst­while Di­rec­tor of Forestry in the state, said al­ready 14 kilo­me­ters of the 28 kilo­me­ters of trees planted in Giedam and Yunusari lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas had with­ered away due to se­cu­rity prob­lems.

``The host com­mu­ni­ties en­gaged to pro­vide wa­ter to the trees planted on the shel­ter­belt were forced to re­lo­cate to safer places be­cause of the pre­vail­ing se­cu­rity risks.

“Th­ese are arid re­gions which must be sup­ported with a lot of wa­ter­ing for the plants to grow but the re­lo­ca­tion of the host com­mu­ni­ties and for­est guards had ex­posed the plants to harsh con­di­tions threat­en­ing their sur­vival.

“I am sure the lack of wa­ter over this pe­riod must have af­fected the trees, they might have prob­a­bly dried up be­cause, no­body goes there,” Tahir said.

An en­vi­ron­men­tal group, Part­ner­ship on En­vi­ron­ment, Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion, has also be­rated the gov­ern­ment for scrap­ping the min­istry of en­vi­ron­ment, say­ing it would thwart the Great Green Wall pro­gramme and gen­eral fight against desert en­croach­ment in the state.

Al­haji Sher­iff Ibrahim, chair­man of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, who was on ad­vo­cacy visit to the state as­sem­bly, urged the law­mak­ers to pre­vail on the gov­ern­ment to re­scind the de­ci­sion.

``We wish to call on gov­ern­ment to have a re­think on the scrap­ping of the min­istry for en­vi­ron­ment be­cause of its cru­cial role in ad­dress­ing dreaded en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges in the state,” he said.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said the ab­sence of a co­or­di­nat­ing min­istry to tackle en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems would re­sult man­age­ment of project in Yobe.

The Speaker, Al­haji Dala Dogo, said the as­sem­bly would li­aise with the ex­ec­u­tive to re­con­sider the scrap­ping of the state min­istry.

“The min­istry for en­vi­ron­ment is very cru­cial to fight­ing de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion and other en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges in the state.

“A state min­istry for en­vi­ron­ment will ef­fec­tively co­or­di­nate the Great Green Wall project and ac­cess­ing of eco­log­i­cal funds from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to fight en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems in the state” the speaker said.

Al­haji Ja­faru Ayuba, Vice Chair­man of Gum Ara­bic Farm­ers/Mar­keters As­so­ci­a­tion in Yobe, ad­vised that Gum Ara­bic plan­ta­tions be es­tab­lished un­der the project to com­bat desert en­croach­ment and for eco­nomic sus­tainance of com­mu­ni­ties.

He said the Gum Ara­bic tree was most suit­able to sur­vive in poor the GGW the harsh arid weather and would be of high eco­nomic po­ten­tial to com­mu­ni­ties.

In Adamawa, the project has also been aban­doned since 2014 due to se­cu­rity chal­lenges.

The Project Co­or­di­na­tor in the state, Mr Pe­ter Tizhi, said that the ini­tial progress made was re­versed fol­low­ing Boko Haram at­tacks on the par­tic­i­pat­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

Tizhi, how­ever, ex­pressed op­ti­mism that re­cent gains made in flush­ing out the in­sur­gents would fa­cil­i­tate con­tin­u­a­tion of the project. (NAN)

To be con­tin­ued

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