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Published On: Thu, Feb 8th, 2018

[Interview] “How Ganduje Is Addressing Cattle Grazing, Desertification, Sanitation Issues” – Commissioner


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Hon. Ali H Abubakar Makoda. Honorable Commissioner Ministry of Environment Kano State: How Ganduje Is Addressing Cattle Grazing, Desertification, Sanitation Issues – Commissioner

How Ganduje Is Addressing Cattle Grazing, Desertification, Sanitation Issues – Commissioner

Hon. Ali H Abubakar Makoda is the Commissioner, Ministry of Environment, Kano State. In this interview with YAKUBU A SALISU explains the state government’s commitment to addressing the issue of desert encroachment, sanitation as well as other matter arising. 

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1. Desertification has been historic issue in northern Nigeria, specially Kano State. Through the years, several efforts were put fourth to battle the continued desert encroachment. What measures has the Ganduje administration put in place to battle desertification? Could this pose a potential source of employment for the youths? 

First and foremost I most express my sincere appreciation to his excellency Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for appointing me to serve under this Ministry.

Kano as you know is blessed with 33 forests across the 44 local government areas and am happy to tell you that this ministry is in charge of all the forests. We have departments such as Forestry and Ecology saddled with the responsibility of taking care of our forestries. To fight desertification we must protect our forests. It is sad to note that the rate at which people are falling our tress is highly alarming.

Over the years, over 2,500 forest guards in the state have retired from service and this has posed great danger to our forests and people cut down the trees without any one to stop them and the implication of this is exposing the state to more desert encroachment.

To address this issue, after we came to office, we wrote to his Excellency the Governor pointing out the need to have more hands to guard and watch over our tress and am happy to inform you that the Governor has approved the recruitment of one hundred persons as first set to guard and watch over our tress to ensure that they are safe from activities of of persons who engages in cutting them for some reasons without planting new ones.

As to job creation, yes, the move will provide our youths with something to do just like I said 100 youths are already engaged as forestry guards. Also, we have a department, Kano Afforestation Program tasked with the production of seedlings in large quantity which engages the services of youths and empowering women in bee keeping as a means of lively hood and we have just gotten a 20 million approval for seed production that means engaging the services of extra hands in the large production.


2. In terms of general sanitation and environmental health of the State, there are mixed feelings from the citizenry towards the administration’s efforts. What has the Ganduje administration done to ensure the streets and market places are not littered with refuse, as it is presently? What could be the challenges? Could this situation also provide opportunity for youth employment? 
 
You see, the truth is,  government alone cannot provide all the needed services needed for the entire populace. We have been calling on the people of the state to complement the effort of the state government by ensuring that their places of business are kept clean. The condition at Kwari and Sabon Gari market is so unfortunate. The attitude of our people depending on the government to do virtually every thing for them is one of the major cause of these problems.
How can a business man who is out to sell his goods feel comfortable in a dirty environment and refuse to contribute towards the evacuation of refuse he or she has poured out in the Market? We must change our mind set to tackle this. Onto developed countries no one picks your refuse for free. It’s no longer business as usual.
We have invited the market leaders to discuss the way forward. The government and every other citizens must join hands to fight against the issue of dirty business premises. In places like Lagos, littering amounts to fine. It’s high time we make Kano a dirt free state. It is important to also know that, his Excellency Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has so far procured over 86 trucks for the Refuse management and sanitation Board in addition to the 50 tricycles used for evacuation of refuse in a cases where trucks cannot access. These we deemed necessary considering the number of trucks we met which were only 23 and out of that 23, only 13 were serviceable which were not enough for the state. But thanks to the Governor for his commitment towards a clean environment.

How Ganduje Is Addressing Cattle Grazing, Desertification, Sanitation Issues – Commissioner

3. Are there any challenges militating against the successful operations of the over 1000 state sanitation vanguards?

Like you know, Kano is the most populous state in the country. A state with such a number of people and vast area would definitely require more than just a thousand sanitation vanguards but I want to assure you that the 1000 sanitation vanguards are doing their job very well and most be commended for their commitment. At the ministry level, we do not have any problem with them. We call on the people of the state to cooperate with them in order for us to have a clean and safe environment where ever we find ourselves.

4. Sabon Gari is arguably the dirtiest area of Kano. But it has the highest internally generated revenue (IGR). Why so?

The issue of Sabon Gari is a unique one.

It is important to inform you that the state has quite number of private refuse management companies certified by the state Refuse management and sanitation Board (REMASAB) and such companies are responsible for the collection of refuse in the Sabon Gari area. These private companies charge for their services yet they fail to meet up. We can not allow that to continue, something must be done quickly to overcome the situation.

In the past, we have directed our officials from REMASAB to support the private companies in evacuating the heap of refuse in the Sabon Gari Area. We are currently working on modalities on how to evacuate the refuse and keep the area clean. This would not take much time I can assure you.

5. Historically, solid waste collection, distribution and disposal has posed problematic to the state governments of Kano due largely to the large population. How is the Ganduje administration handling the solid waste disposal?

Yes, there was an agreement between the state government, the city central group in Lagos and waste services international from Malta. 100 hectares of land has been provided by the state government at Kawo Village and construction works are ongoing and the needed machines needed would soon be installed once the construction of the place is completed and soon operations would kick off.

I was there some time ago to inspect the project and I was happy at the level of development I saw and soon these waste would be turned to health.

6. Cattle grazing have been on the national limelight of recent. What solutions would the state government consider for the herdsmen? Will cattle colonies be considered? 

 

Just as the Governor has said recently, the fulanis are welcome here. Let’s get something straight, Agriculture is very important to the economy of every country and live stuck is part of agriculture. Imagine more than two million cows were vaccinated recently in kano that is health. You can’t talk about agriculture without cattle rearing.

The Falgore forest alone in the state is large enough to accommodate all the Fulanis in Nigeria and their live stuck that is why we are working to provide every necessary facilities needed by the Fulani herdsmen and their families in the forest.

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