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Friday, August 22, 2008

Nigeria: Ali Tackles Desertification

How to sto[ desert from spreading? Plant Trees. See this news from Nigeria

In its effort to improve the living conditions of its people, Yobe State government recently prepared a new "policy plan" on halting the rapid spread and devastating effects of desertification and its encroachment on arable land and oasis that are being buried by sand dunes.

The policy plan tagged: "Taming the Desert with Gum Arabic, Neem Seedlings" was a holistic and continuous aforestation project that would prevent the advancement of desertification in the state.

Speaking to newsmen in his office in Damaturu, the state capital, the Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Musa Dumburi, said that the new policy on fighting desertification and its effects on the people living in 10 council areas was first, to create an enabling environment for the establishment of five nurseries at Damaturu, Potiskum, Bayamari and Nguru, 250 kilometres north-west of the state capital.

According to him, each nursery was to raise not less than 100,000 tree seedlings of gum arabic, neem, pawpaw, procephis, mahogany, citrus, mango and cashew.

He explained that, out of the 500,000 seedlings, 60 per cent or 300,000 seedlings were of gum arabic and neem seedlings while the remaining ones were of other economic trees that could withstand the harsh desert weather conditions.

He said that since the desert encroachment in the state was at 0.6 kilometres per annum, each of the 17 local government areas would be allocated with 1,000 seedlings of gum arabic for the establishment of plantations.

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