University Don raises alarm over threatening desertification in northern Nigeria
Adopting new techniques and approaches are some of the surest ways to combating desertification and other environmental challenges if front line states are to win the battle against phenomena.
A don at the Yobe State University, Professor Hassan Galal in a chat recently noted that an estimate of 50 per cent to 75 per cent of states in Nigeria are affected by desertification.
Prof, Galal who serves as the Director, Desert Research, Monitoring and Control Centre in the Institution said states such as Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kano, Gombe and Bauchi are most affected by desertification.
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“These states with a high population have 38percent total landmass of the country”.
He said in the extreme northern parts of Yobe, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa and Borno states, villages and major access roads have been buried under sand dunes thereby posing a lot of pressure on the already degraded land meant for farming.
He said the situation has resulted in an increase in migration of human and livestock populations from the affected areas to buffer states such as Federal Capital Territory, Taraba, Niger, Kwara and Kaduna among others.
Professor Galal explained that the usual method of controlling desert encroachment in affected areas is the annual tree-planting campaign, mostly anchored by the state governors among other federal government initiatives of which include the great green wall project, cutting across several countries in the Sub-Saharan African countries.
He said planting trees alone without incorporating all and sundry will not yield the needed result, hence the need for a change in approach and method of fighting desertification.
"To mitigate desert encroachment, we need integrated and complete work of all disciplines.
“This integration between all the fields of science should serve together to enhance the environment and to restore the ecosystem again, because, contrary to this, it will lead to soil degradation and deterioration in addition to losing biodiversity and biomass.
"We also need to increase the level of awareness on the value of protecting the environment as well as dangers of felling down life trees”, Professor Galal advised.
He advised countries affected by desertification such as Nigeria, Niger Republic, Chad to seek international support towards stopping sand blooms into the region.
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