From: Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi State Government, on Thursday, commenced the planting of one million forest seedling and economic trees across the 21 Local Government Areas of the state.
Performing the launching of the tree planting at Gayi Forest Reserve, Kalgo Local Government Area of the state, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said that eight local councils in the state have been affected by desertification.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Mohammed Suleiman Argungu, Governor Bagudu stated that councils affected including Augie, Argungu, Gwardu, Birnin Kebbi, Kalgo, Bunza,Jega, and Aliero local governments .
“This year,the Ministry of Environment has been given the approval to produce 1 million seedlings in order to carry out various Environmental Programmes in the state.
” Lack of trees in the environment are the main causes of desertification, floods,siltation, and national and internationally talked about global warming and climate change.
“You may be also be aware that youths are mostly affected by the effects of desertification in areas such as unemployment, poverty and migration, thus,there is the need for us to have a better management of our environment for sustainable development”.
He urged the people of the state to continue planting both economic and forest trees for their own environmental protection and economic usages.
In his remarks, Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Muhammadu Suleiman Marafa, confirmed that about 350,000 hectares of Kebbi State Forest have gone because of deforestation .
“It has been discovered that deforestation has progressed at about 3.5 percent of the total Forest area cover in the last decade. This translate to about 350,000 hectares of Forest loss.
“The rate at which trees and Forest cover are being destroy and soil erosion with the resultant effects in the formation of sands,siltation and dredging of river/ lakes and low- lying areas thus rendering our land unproductive”.