Sokoto relocates three com­mu­ni­ties over de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Abubakar Auwal, Sokoto

The Sokoto State Gov­ern­ment has es­tab­lished 88 kilo­me­tres of shel­ter belt in three com­mu­ni­ties over­taken by sand dunes in the state.

Al­ready, mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ties have been evac­u­ated to a safer place.

The af­fected com­mu­ni­ties are Gi­dan Laura, Gi­dan Gada and Gi­dan Ci­wake, all in Gada lo­cal gov­ern­ment area of the state.

It was said that there were other com­mu­ni­ties in Il­lela lo­cal gov­ern­ment area also over­taken by sand dunes as a re­sult of de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Ad­dress­ing news­men dur­ing a min­is­te­rial brief­ing or­ga­nized by the Nige­ria Union of Jour­nal­ists (NUJ), Sokoto state Coun­cil, the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary at the Min­istry for En­vi­ron­ment, Bar­ris­ter Muham­mad Bello Si­fawa said the sit­u­a­tion was so dis­turb­ing that they had to re­sort to prayer for di­vine in­ter­ven­tion.

Si­fawa re­called that the prob­lem started dur­ing the time of Pres­i­dent Ibrahim Badamasi Ba­bangida, for which he per­son­ally vis­ited the ar­eas for on-the-spot as­sess­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the state gov­ern­ment es­tab­lished 88 kilo­me­tres shel­ter belt to cur­tail fur­ther en­croach­ment by desert while res­i­dents of the com­mu­ni­ties had been re­lo­cated.

He said that the state gov­ern­ment had en­tered into N8.8 bil­lion agree­ment with the World Bank and the Nige­ria Ero­sion and Wa­ter­shed Man­age­ment Project (NEWMAP) aimed at ad­dress­ing the men­ace of gully ero­sion and land degra­da­tion.

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