The Kebbi Government said on Thursday in Birnin Kebbi that it lost 21 of its forest reserves to desert encroachment in the state.
The Commissioner for Environment, Ishaku Daudu, said the state government is doing its best to recover the lost forest reserves.
He said it is worrisome that out of the 22 forest reserves the state had, only one is still viable.
“But we will recover the reserves as part of efforts to reduce the menace of desertification.”
The commissioner told NAN that two million tree seedlings have been distributed free of charge to the public for planting as part of dessert control measures.
He said 25,000 economic trees would be distributed to people in all local government areas of the state to encourage the establishment of orchards, adding that 200 forestry staffers would be recruited to sustain the state’s afforestation project.
“We have earmarked N1.9 million for enlightenment campaign to discourage people from cutting down trees.”
He said the formation of environment clubs in schools and local government areas would be encouraged.
It will be recalled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Thursday approved the immediate take-off the Great Green Wall Programme designed to ensure the planting of 1.5 million new trees.
The new trees are to be planted in 11 frontline states which include Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, Katsina, and Zamfara.