The Gombe State Government has distributed over 50,000 tree seedlings to the general public, as part of its efforts to check deforestation in the state.
Sa’ad Hashidu, Director of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Gombe State Ministry of Environment, made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Thursday.
Mr Hashidu said that deforestation was a serious environmental challenge in the state, adding that the state government had taken measures to address the menace via afforestation schemes involving tree planting.
“Deforestation is a serious challenge to all the frontline states, including Gombe State. The state government, through the ministry of environment, is doing a lot to address this menace.
“Since July, we have distributed over 50,000 tree seedlings to the general public free of charge. Once they are able to assure us of adequate water supply to sustain plant growth; we give the tree seedlings out.
“We are doing this to address the problems of deforestation and desertification; we also want to make the fight against deforestation in the state a collective responsibility.
“The tree seedlings are coming from our tree nurseries located in Kaltungo, Yamaltu-Deba (Kwadom), Gombe, Nafada and Dukku Local Government Areas of the state.
“So far, in 2018, the ministry has planted over 40 hectares of tree seedlings across the state, in collaboration with other stakeholders. At the beginning of the rainy season, we embarked on massive tree planting.
“We also distributed different species of tree seedlings to farmers and we are monitoring the growth of these seedlings across the state so as to ensure that the trees grow to maturity,’’ he said.
Mr Bello noted that efforts were underway to complement the tree planting programme in the state by checking tree felling as well as illegal transportation of firewood and charcoal, using the state-owned task-force.
“We are not just planting trees as a measure to check deforestation and desertification; we are also using a task-force to check tree felling.
“The task-force, which was inaugurated by Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo in January, has impounded over 40 trucks of
firewood and charcoal so far,’’ he said.
He vowed that those involved in tree felling, illegal firewood and charcoal transportation would soon be frustrated out of business.