Bauchi State Government through the State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA) has organized a high level of statewide engagement with stakeholders on environmental issues, to chart a pathway to protect the environment from desert encroachment, flooding, erosion and other hazards associated with the environment.
Speaking during the engagement which was held at Hazibal Hotel Conference Hall in Bauchi, the State Governor, Bala Mohammed said the meeting was to seek for active participation of stakeholders in the implementation of programmes toward addressing environmental challenges.
The Governor noted that the traditional institution and other stakeholders at the grassroots are critical partners in assisting the state to implement its policies and programmes regarding environmental issues.
It was gathered that the initiative is under the Bauchi State FGN/AfDB Supported Inclusive Basic Service Delivery and Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Program (BSDLEIP).
Governor Mohammed, who was represented by the Commissioner of Housing and Environment, Hamisu Mu’azu Shira, said his administration is working with the State House of Assembly to come up with a bill that will address identifiable environmental challenges.
The governor who expressed delight over the initiative which he described as timely, appreciated the partnership between the Bauchi state government and the African Development Bank (AFDB).
He said: “because of our good working relationship with development partners, Bauchi will soon benefit from a new project which will contribute significantly to reducing and controlling environmental challenges”.
Governor Mohammed directed the 20 local government chairmen to work assiduously in the implementation of the action plan, pledging his government’s resolve to free resources to enable the state to overcome the numerous challenges affecting its progress and development.
In his address at the interface, the director-General Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA), Dr Ibrahim Kabir said the meeting was convened in collaboration with African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Bauchi state government.
He said the state government through BASEPA is partnering with the AfDB which aimed at addressing the nvironmental challenges of desert encroachment deforestation, desertification, and erosion, among others.
Dr Kabir said the target of the Agency is to see how the existing sshelterbeltswould be protected and also trigger communities and other stakeholders to work towards planting more trees across 20 local governments of the state.
“We have gone round across the 20 local government areas of the state where we engaged the LG Chairmen and the traditional institutions and it was agreed that we are going to establish plant nursery units across the 20 local government areas”, the DG said.
“When we got back to the Agency, we analysed the situation and seek from the LGs, space to establish those nurseries.
“The engagement today is to sit down together, raise all the issues from their own experiences, to see how we will collaborate”, he added.
The engagement attracted stakeholders that include traditional rulers, LG Chairmen, and forestry officials, among others.
They all asked questions and gave suggestions on the way forward towards winning the battle against desert encroachment, deforestation, erosion and other forms of environmental challenges in Bauchi state.