From Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The Sokoto State Government has embarked on a tree planting scheme in a bid to curb the effects of desertification across the state.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, flagging off the planting exercise at Kilgori in Yabo local government area, said the exercise was part of his commitment to support the people and protect the environment as well as ensure more measures in addressing economic growth for the state.
‘Last year we planted 1 million seedlings and today we announce that in the year 2021 we are targeting 2 million seedlings. This is in connection with our love and fashion to ensure a better environment for our people.
‘Therefore, I directed the state Ministry of Local Government Affairs to collaborate with the Ministry of Environment and ensure the same exercise are inaugurated by the 23 local government chairmen in the state,’ the governor said.
Governor Tambuwal added that the significance of tree plantation can not be overemphasised, saying: ‘As such I called on all good people of Sokoto State and Nigerians to embrace such important exercise for food, economy, medicinal and environmental benefits.’
In his remarks, Commissioner of Environment Sagir Bafarawa said that the choice of economic trees and the areas for the plantation was not only to provide shade for the people.
‘It will be an essential source of oxygen and work as a natural air filter as well as protect the land and boost economic activities.
‘In a nutshell, today is not only about planting a tree but planting pillars for sustaining life on earth, protecting lives and property, safeguarding the lives of our future generation and food source for birds, animals and humans,’ he said.
Bafarawa commended the state governor for his commitment to the activities of his ministry, saying ‘such dedication is highly impressive achievements for the state.
‘However, we shall continue to press on especially addressing some of our challenges such as extreme pressure on our Forest Reserves due to illegal activities such as encroachment for farming and charcoal making and firewood extraction.
‘Alternatives to charcoal are being vigorously developed as this illegal activity of charcoal production is destroying our Forest, and the natural alternatives that come to mind are mineral coal, briquettes and cooking gas,’ he added.
The scheme was organised by the state ministry of environment in collaboration with the State Zakkat and Endowment Commission.