By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
In an effort to ensure and sustain afforestation against desertification, droughts and environmental degradation in the state, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal yesterday launched the 2020 tree planting campaign with 2 million seedlings.
Flagging the campaign at the famous Sultan Abubakar III Juma’at Mosque in Sokoto, Tambuwal emphasized the significance of tree planting to humanity and environment adding that ” we have to work hard to sustain same”.
According to the Governor who also lamented over the frequent felling of trees for firewood, said it was necessary to take advantage of the programme by planting trees of economic values to people.
This he said, would further ease the state of the adverse effect of climate challenges .
He directed the 23 local government councils in the state to adopt and implement same while assuring that the state government would partner to ensure communities were involved for the smooth implementation of the programme at all levels including schools and other organised bodies.
” We will also ensure the establishment of afforestation clubs in schools to imbibe the culture of environmental preservation long our young ones.
” We will also establish gardens and orchards as step to re-green the state”, he stressed.
The governor however, seized the opportunity to reiterate to the people of the state on the reality of the novel Covid-19 pandemic urging them to continue observing the protocols and guidelines of NCDC against the deadly disease .
” Not because we do not have anyone in isolation facility that coronavirus is not real. It is real and so maintain the physical distance, use of face mask as well hand sanitisers in washing your hands. We pray it come to an end “, he advised.
In his remarks, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar tasked all elected leaders from the President , governors and others to take responsibility to protect the Nigerian environment by sustaining afforestation through tree planting.
He cautioned against frequent and indiscriminate tree felling for firewood without replacing same or double the number while recalling with concerns how in 2014 , over N1.9bn was released for the purchase and distribution of stoves and others as alternative source of energy in order to end tree felling disappeared.
The revered monarch challenged the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) which governor Tambuwal deputises to revisit the issue through the Federal Ministry of Environment with a view to preferring solution towards ensuring sustainable plans for responsive afforestation across the country.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Environment , Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa said the tree planting campaign was in tune with the Green Economy realities as the world’s instigator of economic empowerment.
” Our approach to this task of tree planting this year is in breach of the normal norms and tradition which we deliberately deviated via a responsive initiative to unbundle ideas for our passion to have a green state.
” We have 6000sqm orchard for the tree planting while windbreak plantation at the North and Eastern part of the mosque is about 580 metres in four rows.”
Meanwhile, seedlings were distributed to secondary schools , organised CSO groups, JNI, NGOs as well as presentation of alternative energy source items to women as part of moves to end tree felling