The Great Green Wall in Nigeria

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Soldiers patrol northern Nigeria


GGW And The Threat Of Desertification In Northern Nigeria

As Nigeria battle the menace of Boko Haram insurgency, there is the need to look inward into other naturally disasters, such as desertification, that could create bigger problems for the country in the future. In this report, EJIKE EJIKE examines the efforts the Great Green Wall (GGW) Agency, is doing to curb the menace of desertification.

Desertification has become another disaster troubling the Northern part of the country after the Boko Haram insurgency. The majority of the states in the Northern part of the country, depend largely on agriculture for survival and with the lands being taken over by desertification, young men and women tend to move over to other places for greener pastures and this leads to urban migration.

According to the director general of the agency, Ahmed Goni, about 43 percent of Nigeria land mass risks desertification and hence, the need for adequate support to tackle this menace.

In a bid to curtail these effects, the Great Green Wall Agency, has begun massive development of these lands affected by desertification in 11 states, namely, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina,Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states

In Sokoto state for instance, Goni stated while seeking the support of Sokoto state’s government in tackling desertification in the stata that studies have shown that over 70 million Nigerians have direct and indirect experience of negative impact of drought and desertification in the country.

Despite the various challenges in the running of the activities of the GGW, the DG enumerated some of the achievements of the agency in Sokoto state, in its barely two years old, to include the establishment of 30km shelterbelts in Nashiyau, Sabon Sara, Mashaya, Garin Tela and Mano.

Others include the distribution of 8, 000 date palm seedlings alongside with other fruits like guava and moringa, provision of 12 boreholes and the ongoing construction of skill acquisition centre to serve as hub for job creation and training ground for youths in different fields.

Read the full story: Leadership

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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