Kaduna State Forest Resources Under Threat of Depletion
Says Director of forest
•We are doing our best to curb this threat – Director
•We ‘ll cooperate with relevant bodies to stop illegal felling of trees – Wood cutters Association.
By Mike Odeh James and Daniel Karmax
Forest resources in Kaduna State have been reduced to only 9 percent out of the 25 percent as deforestation seems to encroach in the state,the State Director Forestry, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Anthony Kachiro disclosed this
He made the revelation to Kaduna News Online News Online ( KNO) during a meeting in his office with those involved in the commercial felling of trees and other related forest activities in Kaduna.
Mr. Kachiro who lamented the wanton destruction of forest reserve in the state by illegal wood cutters from neighboring states like Jigawa, Katsina , Sokoto and Kano , added that these illegal loggers have already depleted the forest reserves their states to just two percent and are now poaching on the forest reserves in Kaduna State .
He called on the state, federal government and other well-meaning organizations involved in the conservation and protection of the forest belt to urgently assist the state to tackle the menace.
The director , highlighted the steps taken by his department and ministry to rein in the activies of these illegal loggers as follows :
“the recruitment of over 300 forest guards to patrol and prevent the felling of trees ,the planting of fuelwood belts in all the local government areas where felling of trees are pronounced “.
“So far, we have planted trees covering 93.6 km by 50 meters in the five local governments sharing boundary with Katsina, Kano, and Zamfara among others.
“The belt was established to halt or slow down desertification across Ikara, Makarfi, Kudan, Giwa and Birnin Gwari local government areas in the state,“ Mr.Kachiro said.
The director further added that his ministry has distributed 600 clean stoves to rural dwellers in order to reduce dependency on forest resources for firewoods
He futher stated that his department has gone into partnership with foreign organizations and the state government in the areas of tree planting and sensitization of people about the dangers of illegal and indiscriminate felling of trees in the state .
Also speaking at the occassion, Mr. Abubakar Ocheje the Chairman of Timber Association of Nigeria in the state, called on the state government to see the association as a partner in the fight against illegal destruction of forest resources in the state .
Mr.Ocheje also stated that his association which has partnered with the government of the state for over 30 years is stilling willing to abide by laid down rules and regulations in the .conservation of the forest belt in the state.
He called on all members of the association to be law abiding .
Also the Chairman Alhaji Musa Ya’u of Firewood Sellers in Kaduna added that unless the state government regulates the felling of trees in the state there will be massive deforestation which would spell disaster
He reassured the government that members of his association remain resolute in obeying government directives In order to preserve the remaining trees in the forest resources in the state