NAGGW to Rehabilitate 22,000 sqkm of Degraded Land, Improve 20m Livelihoods
The National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) has set a target of rehabiliting about 22,000 square kilometres of degraded land across the country.
The Agency, also reiterated its desire and avowed commitment to improving the livelihood of over 20 million Nigerians by the year 2030.
NAGGW’s Director General, Dr. Bukar Hassan, made this known while presenting a paper entitled, “Transforming the Drylands of Nigeria,” noting that following the approval of President Muhammau Buhari, the Agency is accessing the 15% Ecological Fund and the Natural Resource Development Fund for the execution of its programmes and key projects.
He spoke at the “First Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum of the National Alliance for the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) Programme Implementation,” in Abuja.
He disclosed that NAGGW is already engaged in baseline studies and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); community mobilization, sensitization and awareness campaign; afforestation and land management; promotion of alternative livelihoods; rural infrastructure; FAO supported action against aesertification project; and employment generation.
Said Dr. Hassan: “These ongoing programmes and projects include ecological restoration and rehabilitation to enhance the livelihoods of the affected communities and strengthen their resilient to climate change, promotion of climate smart agricultural practices to enhance food security and climate change adaptation; improvement of critical rural infrastructure for enhanced socioeconomic development; and promotion of alternative and efficient sources of rural energy to reduce deforestation and combat climate change.
“We shall also embarked on women and youth empowerment and promotion of alternative livelihoods to reduce rural unemployment, social conflicts, forced migration and rural poverty; review and update of baseline information and establishment of functional database on drought and desertification in Nigeria; renovation of Afforestation Programme Coordinating Unit (APCU) facility in Kano (Second phase); and the development of GGW extension services strategy and structures.”
Other ongoing activities as highlighted by the NAGGW helmsman, include strengthening of the existing GIS laboratory for data analysis; launching of public awareness and mobilization campaigns; provide support for research and development; and embarking on the installation of automatic weather stations for real time data collection and informed decision making.
The rest are, establishment of Community Plant Nurseries for the production of tree seedlings; recruitment of Forest Guards; rangeland restoration and development to reduce farmers-herders’ conflict and enhance livestock production in line with government policy; fixation of active sand dunes and oasis Rehabilitation; and trade and capacity building of local communities on natural resources management amongst others activities.
“Some of the challenges being faced in the execution of our activities include insecurity in some states having mass drylands; vandalization of field investments by thieves and other hoodlums; poor community participation; lack of financial contribution from states for the programme implementation; inadequate availability of land in some states for project implementation; and weak institutional capacity, particularly at State, local and community levels,” Dr. Hassan stated.
He advocated for counterpart funding by participating states; establishment of Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee to enhance synergy and technical support; and provision of land by states for project implementation; while also enhancing collaboration with development partners to improve funding, among other workable solutions for the aforementioned challenges.