Tag Archives: Gombe

Desertification in Nigeria Update:Federal Ministry of Environment Strategies

The Federal Government cannot do it all as regards management of the environment.  In the case of responding to the issue of desertification  in Nigeria it needs the contribution and participation  of the front-line states.

A sector-wide approach, which brings together governments, donors and stakeholders, will be more effective. The strategies that the Federal Ministry of Environment claims to have developed is not  spelt out in this News Agency of Nigeria Report. Any strategy that leaves out other sectors and stakeholders will not achieve desired result. The Ministry of Environment should  involve the LGAs as well as the communities in these front-line states.


Ministry to mitigate impact of desertification on buffer states, says Official

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN),Thu, 04/04/2013
The Federal Ministry of Environment has developed strategies to ensure that buffer states are not affected by desertification battering the frontline states.

Dr Bukhar Hassan, Director, Drought, Desertification and Amelioration Department of the ministry, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that the the buffer states, also referred to as neighbouring states, comprised Niger, Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba and the FCT.

“The 11 frontline states are on the war front with desertification. Desertification in Nigeria is caused by the moving of the Sahara desert southwards into the country and the first ports of call are these states.

“These frontline states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kastina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.

“This is where most of our actions are carried out.

“We have also put a lot of efforts in these areas; in the buffer states, we try to reduce the possibility of desertification in these areas, while in the North, we try to restore the degraded areas.’’ he said.

Hassan said it was worrisome that some settlements especially on the borders between Nigeria and Niger Republic had been over taken by the desert.

The director explained that the large population in the settlements was forced to migrate to the buffer states due to the encroachment.

“So, the natural resources in that state now will be under strain and once they are being under strain, the next thing you will realise is that there won’t be any sustainability in the natural resources management.

“And once you don’t have sustainability, the next thing you get is scarcity of natural resources and once you get scarcity, the result of that is anybody’s guess.’’ he said.

According to the director, desertification is making the forests in the frontline states to disappear.

“We cut down trees for cooking and this is made worse by the advancing desert because trees are felled without replacement and it makes the problem much more difficult to solve.

“We also have a lot of influx of people from other states to cut down the trees which they use as cooking fuel and for other purposes.’’ he said.

Hassan observed that such visible effects of desertification had affected the economy of the country.

He stated that the ministry had stepped up awareness campaign on climate change as evident in the increasing desert encroachment

“What we are doing now is that we are talking to stakeholders like the wood sellers association, to make them understand the need to sustain the environment even as they do their businesses.

“We are encouraging them to plant more trees because it is not using firewood from trees that is hurting us but the fact that they do not plant trees to replace the ones they have cut down.”

The director stated that the frontline states would work out a framework that would consist of rules and economic agenda to sustain the environment.

Corruption in the water sector: a reader’s comments

by J.A. Hanidu, Retired Director (Hydrology & Hydrogeology)

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Water Resources


Thank you for sending this article to me and I must congratulate you for embarking on this project.

We need to cooperate to fight corruption not only in the water resources sector, but also in the entire nation. The source of Luky Onyekakeyah’s article is not certain and I cannot freely comment as a result. Your experience in Gombe is however curious as one is not sure of the service supposed to be rendered by the Federal Government Contractor. It would seem that was what he was sent to do. Did he set out to rehabilitate them, but ended up messing them up by virtually shutting of the water source to the communities that relied on them?
You definitely will have the name of the State that stockpiled 15 years supply of chlorine. Can we have the name of the state and the photograph of the chlorine canisters in the store? Publishing these items will serve to wake up the state concerned and others will sit up.
The MDG was actually designed to be moving targets especially as it is based on reducing by half, the population of those without access to water supply and sanitation by the year 2015. Since the population is not static and continues to grow at roughly 3%, so will the target be shifting.
Back to corruption. Majority of our political leaders are not committed to render service. They are simply interested in their personal welfare. While we should hunt and hound the corrupt ones, we should be vigilant during election times to elect credible representatives. By fencing off known corrupt politicians and those without serious commitment to service, we would have taken a bold step towards reducing the rate of corruption in this country. We should also without restraints, apply our rights to recall those that have failed us.