The EU, Oxfam Advocacy in Nigeria says it has planted not less than 7.1 million trees under its Fuel Wood Balance (FUWOBA) project in Katsina State.
Christo Marry-Udokang, the project manager, made the disclosure in Katsina on Monday at a sensitization meeting with directors of agriculture from the 34 local government councils of the state and other stakeholders.
Mr Marry-Gold said that the assorted variety of trees were planted in the seven pilot local government areas of Dutsi, Daura, Mashi, Maiadua, Baure, Sandamu and Zango.
He said the trees planted included Moringa, Eucalyptus, Mango, Guava, Neem and other varieties considered to be of benefit to humanity and environmental conservation.
The FUWOBA Project Manager appealed to the directors and other stakeholders to strive to sustain the earlier gains recorded by the project since its inception in 2014.
He said that the need to sustain the project was informed by the significant achievements so far recorded through aggressive planting of trees and maintaining and training of thousands of youths on production of clean cook stoves.
According to him, the project can only be sustained through honest commitment and determination, political will, sensitization and promotion and through the ‘one man one tree’ approach of maintaining the trees.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Abdulkadir Zakkah, lauded the efforts of the project especially its sustained crusade on tree planting in the benefiting local government areas.
He assured that the state government would continue to cooperate with FUWOBA for a sustained green environment while commending the EU, Oxfam for sustaining the project.
The Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Kabir, represented by Alhaji Abba Balarabe, also lauded the efforts of EU, Oxfam for achieving such an enviable feat by planting millions of trees within the short period of existence of the project.
He assured that the traditional rulers would continue to guard against the indiscriminate felling of trees, stressing ‘’we will not spare any culprit as our forest guards have been directed to be vigilant to protect the trees.’’
The emir said that the trees would promote the concept of green environment, promote afforestation, provide opportunities for future generations and prevent desertification.
Mr Kabir said that refreshing of the Sahel was a serious task but not impossible.
The highlight of the event was a paper presentation on the imperative of tree planting and the need for synergy between government, stakeholders, and community-based organisations in sustaining the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the FUWOBA project in Katsina commenced in September 2014 and it is expected to end by January 2020.