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Desertification: Agency trains 300 women, youths, to check tree felling

The National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW), says it has trained 300 rural women and youths on skills to empower them and check tree felling in desert prone communities.

The Director-General (DG) of the agency, Dr Bukar Hassan, stated this at the inauguration of the Batch III training exercise of 100 youths and women, on Tueday in Kano.

Hassan, represented by Ahmed Bagudo, Director, Mobilisation of the agency, said the training exercise was designed to provide alternative means of livelihood to the women and vulnerable in the desert prone areas to check tree felling and dependence on forest resources.

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He noted that the programme also focused on economic empowerment and encouraged community engagement in environmental management and forest conservation, to control desertification.

“The programme targeted the vulnerables through skills acquisition training to complement income generation from the agricultural sector,” Hassan said.

He said the programme was implemented in 11 desert prone states in the country where the climate was no longer friendly.

Hassan listed the states as Kebbi,  Zamfara,  Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa.

According to him, the beneficiaries would be trained on tailoring, knitting and soap processing, adding that the agency would distribute starter packs to the participants to enable them set up their businesses.

The DG said the participants for the Batch III training exercise were drawn from Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe.

“Already, we trained 100 youths and women from Kano and Jigawa and another set from Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi states in the past two months.

“Plans are underway to conduct similar exercise in Borno and Yobe States,” he added.

Hassan reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to empower the communities to control desertification, address unemployment and check rural-urban drift.

Also speaking, Mr Chindaba Noshoya, the Acting Director, Department of Rural Development and Extension Services of the agency, said the skills acquisition programme would greatly control desertification in the country.

Noshaya, represented by Pauline Sule, Head of Media of the agency, urged the participants to pay attention to the training to enable them learn trades and engage in productive activities.

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) was endorsed by the African Union (AU) in 2007.

GGWSSI brings together 20 African countries with international organisations, research institutes, civil society and grassroots organisations.

The NAGGW plans to plant about 60 million drought resistant tree seedlings to cover about 1,500km spanning 46 local government areas in the 11 frontline states under its Contiguous Wall project. 

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