In order to address the issue of desert encroachment and other environmental challenges, the Yobe state government has taken the initiative to reclaim land lost through the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project funded by the World Bank.
During the inauguration of the Local Government Project Management Committee in Damaturu, the state capital, the Commissioner for Environment, Yakubu Sidi Karasuwa, explained that the decision to have a larger representation within the committee was made to ensure better results in the efforts to combat desert encroachment and address other environmental difficulties.
“The challenge of desert encroachment is not only in Yobe state, it’s a national issue and Yobe is the most affected considering its proximity with Niger Republic. We have a large distance of kilometers that are affected by the desert encroachment.
“Therefore, this committee is a local base, whatever activity that is implemented at local level must be owned by the community and involving them so as to succeed is key,” he said.
According to Shehu Muhammadu, the State Project Coordinator, the committee inauguration is a crucial part of ACReSAL. He mentioned that nine individuals were carefully chosen from each of the 17 local government areas in the state.
Additionally, he highlighted that this project will be simultaneously implemented in 19 states of Northern Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Muhammadu further emphasized that the project is set to last for a duration of six years.
“This inauguration is part of the prerequisite of ACReSAL, the same committee was inaugurated at the National and State levels and this is the last batch of the committee entry.
“The activities of ACReSAL will last for six years and we are trying to bring succour to the people. The Federal government is set to reclaim 4,000,000 hectares of land lost to desert encroachment and out of this number, Yobe ACReSAL is to reclaim 100,000 hectares of land.”