Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum has flagged off the 2023 tree-planting campaign with 1.2 million trees expected to be planted across the state.
The exercise, conducted at the premises of the Borno State University Teaching Hospital on Monday, according to a statement signed by the governor’s spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau, aims at curbing desertification and other environmental problems.
This year’s campaign in Borno State has the theme: “Trees for Resettlement” which aligns with a broader theme of the United Nations: “Let’s Green Our City”.
Zulum, while delivering his address, advocated the use of gas cookers and wood-efficient stoves as against the mass use of firewood from felling of trees.
He said: “If (tree felling) is left unchecked, we may one day find that the whole of Borno State is a desert. We are all aware that we have lost more than 80% of our vegetation in the state to insurgency. All the trees around our village communities have been cleared for security reasons and some were cleared for firewood”, Zulum said.
The governor added that beyond Borno, “the issue of climate change and desert encroachment has been a great concern to the entire people of the northern states”, noting the urgent need “to arrest the menace of climate change in our state by planting trees”.
The governor also announced that Borno State Government will ambitiously target the planting of 10 million trees in 2024.
The governor explained that of the 10 million trees, each of the 27 local government areas of the state will raise 200,000 trees to make up 5.4 million trees while the State Government will raise about 5 million trees.
During the event, the governor directed the State Ministry of Environment to dump its traditional tree-planting campaign by innovating a more result-based model.
He also asked the ministry to come up with a working calendar that should be strictly adhered to.
The governor charged the ministry and the 27 local government areas to ensure seedlings were raised early so that tree-planting can commence early in 2024.
Highlight of the occasion was the symbolic tree-planting by the governor, his deputy, Umar Usman Kadafur, Speaker of the State Assembly, SSG, commissioners and other dignitaries.
Another highlight was a public enlightenment drama presentation by “Nakande drama group” based in Maiduguri on the impact of cutting trees.