Govt pledges to tackle desertification

Nana Fatima Mede

Nana Fatima Mede

THE federal authorities have stressed the need to embark on aggressive trees planting in order to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in the country.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Fatima Mede made the call when she led staff of the ministry on tree planting exercise in Bwari Area Council of the FCT as part of the activities to mark 2015 World Desertification Day.

She noted that for any re-grassing to be worthwhile, it must be geared towards ensuring food security and improving the livelihoods of people in the dry-lands who struggle every day to survive.

She observed that over 40 million Nigerians in the eleven frontline states are suffering from the effect of desertification and that government is not resting on its oars in combating the malady.

Mede said, “Government has taken cognizance of the multi-sectoral problems of desertification and has developed a number of policies and plans ranging from agricultural to energy, some of the policies relevant to desertification control are embedded into the National Policy on the Environment”.

The PS stated that in addition to these policies, some plans and strategies have been put in place to arrest desertification. “Part of this strategy is, tree planting”.

“While government is making progress in the area of alternative sources of energy for cooking our meals, it is imperative that for any tree that is cut; at least five trees should be planted as a replacement.

“The Ministry will continue to deliver on its mandate of protecting the natural environment against pollution and degradation as well as to ensure the conservation of natural resources for sustainable development in Nigeria”.

The Executive Chairman of Bwari Area Council, Dr. Peter Yohanna Ushafa noted that the theme of this year’s celebration “Attainment of Food Security for all through Sustainable food system” aptly underscores government’s effort to boost food security through its various programmes and initiatives in order to ensure sufficiency amongst its citizenry.

He therefore urged Nigerians to complement government’s efforts at ensuring the attainment of food security and embrace the culture of re-grassing.

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