President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to inaugurate the Great Green Wall Programme (GGWP) in Kebbi State, as part of the afforestation initiative to combat desertification in Africa.
The GGWP is a project developed by African Union to address social, economic and environmental impact of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara zones.
The Kebbi State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Ishaku Dauda, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview on Thursday in Abuja that preparation was in top gear to receive the president in Kebbi State.
Dauda, who also is the chairman of the technical committee for the implementation of GGWP in Kebbi, said: “the state has planted one kilometre of shelter-belt of the Great Green Wall in preparation for the president’s commissioning”.
According to him, the programme is expected to cover 211 kilometres in the state.
NAN recalls that Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, had on June 10 inaugurated a committee in Birnin Kebbi to ensure compliance with the AU initiative.
African countries participating in the programme include Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger Republic. Others are Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.
Kangiwa said that the programme would be implemented in Arewa and Dandi local government areas of the state as stipulated in the GGWP route.
“The committee would supervise the general implementation of the programme, monitoring and evaluating, and liaising with the participating local government areas,’’ he said.
Dauda said that the committee would also liaise with the Federal Ministry of Environment to prepare progress report to the ministry.
“The committee would also find alternative plantations of economic trees, land rehabilitation and resource management, extension and awareness creation, support infrastructure and human livelihood activities,’’ he said.
He said that the committee was expected to work for five years, in line with the tenure of the project.
NAN reports that the programme is expected to be implemented in 11 states, including Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and Yobe.