By Gami Tadanyigbe
Kwali (FCT), Sept. 25, 2020 (NAN) Dangara community in Kwali Area Council, FCT, have called on the Federal Government to intensify tree planting policies in FCT communities.
They say it will encourage and accelerate afforestation in the territory.
Mr Iliyasu Bala, spokesperson of community, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dangara, that the rate of deforestation of economic trees in the area was worrisome.
Bala, Personal Assistant (PA) and son to the the late Chief of the community, said the rate of felling of sheabutter trees by charcoal dealers, loggers and wood exporters in the area would affect the environment and their means of livelihood.
According to him, the strategic location and land mass of Kwali Area Council could serve as frontrunner in agriculture research and development.
“We have industrial farmers of Shea nuts but due to the carelessness and negligence of our top officials there is high deforestation of the trees.
“Most of our people keep complaining to us and we forward the complain to the highest office but no response to stop the deforestation of the trees.
“We, residents of in the community, farm Shea nuts in large quantities. I am a supplier to three companies in Kogi State due to deforestation we have been facing untold challenges.
“Some officials are not helping maters because instead of arresting the charcoal dealers and wood exporters, they instead collect revenue from them,” he lamented.
Charcoal depot Gadabiu, Lokoja/Abuja Expressway, Kwali
The spokesperson noted that apart from making the environment friendly, tree planting contributes to economic development of any country.
He maintained that trees alleviate poverty and ensure food security, adding that tree planting was in line with some of the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.
“The rate of deforestation in this community is faster than the rate of planting and is not healthy for the environment.
“The people engaged in deforestation are not re-planting the trees to replace felled ones especially wood exporters, loggers and charcoal dealers.
“We have been sensitising people in the community on the dangers associated with tree felling as well as the benefits of tree planting.
“I urge the Government to constitute a task force to monitor tree felling, wood processing and marketing in FCT communities.
He, however, called for collaboration with agricultural research institutes, to embark on massive planting of economic trees in all the six area councils in FCT.