Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has launched the ‘Gombe Goes Green 3G’ initiative aimed at planting four million trees to mitigate the menace of desertification in the state.
Yahaya said at the occasion on Wednesday in Dukku Local Government Area of the state that over 86, 000 tree seedlings had been planted in nine local government areas and several nurseries established in various communities.
He said deforestation, poor land use and other human activities were some of the major causes of flooding and erosion, which according to him, result in the destruction of agricultural lands, lives and properties of Gombe people.
He stated that the project demonstrated his administration’s commitment to addressing the myriad environmental challenges affecting the State.
“ Through 3G, we will continue to take necessary measures aimed at increasing the adaptive capacity toward reducing the negative impact of flood and erosion on the populace.
“ There will be awareness creation and sensitisation geared toward attitudinal change in relating with the environment; establishment of shelter belt, woodlots and cover crops to reduce impact of water runoff and loss of the top soil.
“Also, there will be campaign on reduction of drainage blockages; proper layout and planning of settlement that allows free flow of water along water ways; and construction of drainage.
“These efforts would help reduce vulnerability to these occurrences, ensure sustained food production and improve the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Gombe State in the face of unceasing flood and erosion menace.
The governor emphasised that it was an obligation for everyone to give priority attention to, if we must halt desert encroachment and other environmental challenges facing us.
While acknowledging poverty as major reasons for environmental degradation, especially desertification which is largely caused by indiscriminate cutting of trees for firewood, he assured the people of assistance in that regard.
“We are already making concerted effort in seeking partnership with international donor agencies to provide affordable, alternative low energy cooking facilities that would reduce the pressure on our forest,” he said.
He added that the state government had recently paid N500 million as counterpart contribution to the World Bank to access funds for the gully erosions in two sites within Gombe Township.
He called on community leaders and individuals to support the Project in fighting the menace of desert encroachment and erosion by protecting the trees planted as well as planting more at every available space in their environment.
On his part, Alhaji Abdulkadir Rashid II, Emir of Dukku, thanked Gov. Yahaya and pledged his commitment towards ensuring the success of the project in his domain.