By Sulaiman Sani
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state has launched a four million tree planting campaign known as Gombe 3G.
The official launch of the program was held at Dukku local government area of the state.
The project is geared towards curbing weather and man-made induced environmental challenges affecting the state, such as desertification and erosion.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Inuwa Yahaya said, it was gratifying that his administration had already planted 86 thousand trees in nine LGAs of the state.
He explained that 15 thousand of the number had already been planted on 12 major streets in the Gombe metropolis as well as roads inside the Gombe International Airport.
On the impact of flood, Yahaya said that Deforestation and poor land use had been the major causes of erosion, and the destruction of Agricultural farm lands, loss of lives, homes and property, devastation of roads and other infrastructural facilities in the state.
The Governor also disclosed that, the 3G programme was taking deliberate measures to reduce the negative impact of flood and erosion on the populace and making concerted effort in seeking Partnership with international donor agencies to provide affordable, alternative low energy cooking facilities that would reduce the pressure on the forests.
According him, his administration would use the 3G programme to address the adverse environmental challenges, through tree planting and provision of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in Gombe and plant One million trees each year in his first tenure, which would consequently generate direct jobs for the youths.
Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya further pointed out that, his government had recently paid the 500 million naira counterpart contribution to the World Bank so as to access funds for the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP work in the State.
He however, called on community leaders and individuals to support the 3G Project and fight the menace of desert encroachment and erosion by protecting the trees planted, and encouraged them to plant more trees in the environment.
On his part, Emir of Dukku, Alhaji Haruna Abdulkadir Rashid II, who thanked the Governor for the bold step taken, pledged that his emirate council would take care of the seedlings and ensure their survival to curb the menace of environmental challenges in his domain.
In a remark, V.C, Gombe state University of Science and Technology, Professor Abdullahi Mahdi, who has had over 50 years experience in tree planting in Nigeria, promised to give the 3G programme all the support it needed to succeed.