The World Bank-supported Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), says it will support the development of fuel wood plantations in rural communities of Kaduna State.
The Project Coordinator, Mr Jibril Dahiru, stated this on Saturday, at a community sensitisation and advocacy on solid waste management, land degradation and plantation at Maje, Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Dahiru said the effort was part of strategies for sustainable forest management to prevent erosion, land degradation and mitigate climate change.
He explained that NEWMAP was designed to address the menace of gully erosion and land degradation.
According to him, the project will increase income for rural households from improved agricultural and forest practices through the use of conservation agricultural, agro-forestry and natural regeneration.
He said the project is being implemented in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Kaduna State Government, to rehabilitate degraded lands and reduce erosion vulnerability in targeted areas.
He said the improved erosion management and gully rehabilitation would reduce loss of infrastructure such as roads, houses and markets, among others.
The coordinator added that the efforts would also reduce loss of agricultural land and productivity from soil loss caused by surface erosion.
“The project will equally progressively restore vegetation cover and improve environmental conditions,” he said.
Mr Anthony Joseph, Director of Forestry, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, said the ministry had produced more than 500,000 tree seedlings for community members to access for the fuel wood plantations.
Joseph said that the seedlings are equally available for households to access and plant in their houses and other public places.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Ibrahim Hussaini, said the sensitisation is to enlighten community members on climate change, erosion, flooding, land degradation and ways to mitigate them.
Hussaini, who was represented by Mr Yusuf Muazu, Director of Environment, said that human activities were largely responsible for some of the environmental challenges faced in the communities.
He said the sensitisation was to enlighten community members on the project and how they could protect and sustain their environment.
The District Head of Giwa, Alhaji Abdulkareem Aminu, thanked the World Bank, the Federal Government and Kaduna State Governments for initiating the project to benefit his people and other community members in the state.
Aminu pledged the support of traditional leaders in Giwa communities to ensure the success of the project and called on all community members to give the needed support.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at a similar event at Saidu Model Primary School, Samaru, Zaria, Sabon Gari LGA, the project coordinator advised residents against using a portion of the school as a refuse dump site.
Dahiru said that the solid waste would endanger the health of the pupils and people within the area and harm the environment.
Also, the project’s Environmental and Safeguard Officer, Hajiya Habiba Maina, disclosed that NEWMAP would evacuate the refuse from the school and plant trees to replenish the school environment.
The Ward Head of Badaru, Samaru, Zaria, Ahmadu Gwadabe, thanked the state government for selecting the community as a beneficiary and pledged the support of the community members for the success of the project. (NAN)