Over 70 million people living in the North have experienced the negative impact of drought and desertification directly or indirectly, the Federal Government has said.

The government has embarked on tree planting in 11 states to curb desertification.

[dropcap type=”3″]T[/dropcap]he Director-General, National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW), Mr. Goni Ahmed, who spoke during a visit to Sokoto State by members of the agency, said six-kilometre of shelterbelt, two hectares of orchards and one hectare of community nursery were established at Unguwar Lalle in Sabon Gari Local Government.

Ahmed, in a statement in Abuja at the weekend, said Sokoto was one of the states chosen as a focal point for the GGW project under the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

He said desertification could plunge the state into environmental degradation and increased poverty if not tackled.

The director thanked Governor Aminu Tambuwal for his support to the agency by ensuring that a bill for the creation of NAGGW was passed when he was the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

He solicited the support of the state government in the provision of land for the GGW programme and the establishment of state and local government committee in line with the GGW Act.

Tambuwal hailed the agency, saying he was impressed by the work by the agency in the state.

He said the project was a direct benefit for the people, adding that the state would support and embrace the programme.

According to him, the state re-enacted a bill to ensure the control of desertification before the agency was created.

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