Bauchi State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has flagged off the 2019 Tree Planting Campaign declaring that the state government is to plant not less than 500,000 trees in a bid to curb erosion and desertification which are the major environmental challenges affecting the state.
While speaking during the 2019 official tree planting campaign with the theme ‘Planting for Reclamation’, held at the Main Campus of the State University, Gadau in Itas/Gadau Local Government Area, Senator Bala Muhammad also directed all the Local Government Council Chairmen in the state to replicate the exercise in their respective local areas, noting that all necessary plantation requirements will be provided for the exercise.
The Governor regretted that the combined effects of the problems in the environment have led to significant loss of agricultural lands, as it affects the sources of livelihood and general well being of the citizens declaring that the State is presently faced with environmental challenges which include drought, desertification, erosion and floods.
He further noted that the immediate and long term practical solution to environmental challenges is through aggressive and sustained planting of trees, saying that trees are very important in controlling desert encroachment.
The Governor however assured that this year’s Tree Planting Campaign will not stop at planting trees only, but it will re-enforce public enlightenment, massive distribution of seedlings across the state and protection of the existing forest estates.
He said that the tree planting exercise will henceforth be continuous as the government will work assiduously to ensure that necessary requirements are provided for the campaign.
To this end, Bala Mohammed said his administration will improve seedling production in all the nurseries across the state in addition to providing all working tools that will be needed to patrol and protect the environment from degradation and destruction.
According to him, as part of measures to ensure that forest estates and environment are kept intact and better, all laws and regulations guiding the tree planting campaign would be reviewed to go in tandem with the current environmental challenges.
The Governor, therefore, directed the Caretaker Chairmen in the state to replicate the exercise in their respective Councils explaining that the campaign was also to restore soil nutrients, beautify the ecosystem as well as encouraging seedling production for the overall development of the state.
While warning against indiscriminate deforestation for commercial performers, the Governor called on the State and National Assemblies to enact laws that will discourage deforestation and promote massive tree planting especially in areas that lives and properties are being threatened as a result of environmental problems.
In his speech, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Ahmed Baba Zalanga recalled that the campaign is an annual event set aside to enlighten citizens on the importance of planting trees as a solution to numerous environmental challenges facing the country.
The Permanent Secretary who acknowledged the efforts of the present administration in the state towards combating desertification and other environmental challenges announced the procurement of thousands of assorted seedlings for distribution across the 3 Senatorial districts of the state.
Ahmad Muhammad Zalanga added that this year’s campaign will also include public enlightenment on the need to support government in its quest to ensure a favourable environment for well being of the people because according to him, the campaign has the support of an international donor agency as well as some associations from within and outside the State.
In his address, the Vice-Chancellor of Bauchi State University, (BASUG), Gadau, Professor Awwalu Uba thanked the state government for considering the university for the campaign noting that the university is negatively affected by desertification and erosion.
He assured that the university community is ready to do everything humanly possible to fight the menace declaring that already an orchard for tree seedlings has been established and will be nurtured well.