Taraba ACReSAL sensitizes communities on environmental health
By Christiana Babayo Jalingo.
As part of efforts to save the environment and better the lives of people in the state, Taraba state Team of the “Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes”, ACReSAL Project have embarked on a sensitization visit to communities and stakeholders.
ACReSAL is a World bank assisted project in conjunction with the federal and state governments, to cover 19 Northern states in the span of 6 years.
Going round the 16 local government Area for the sensitization, the team visited Mutum biyu, headquarters of Gassol local government, Bali local government, Kurmi, Sardauna, Gashaka, Wukari, Donga, Yorro among others.
At Mutum biyu, Dr Dahiru Umar who led the team outlined that the core focus and objective of the project is to green the environment and save lives just like the slogan of the project goes “Greening the environment,saving lives”
According to him, issues of deforestation, erosion, livelihood, water are the vital areas that the project is going to be focusing on, as such the community leaders and stakeholders must be directly involved so as to improve synergy for easy execution.
“The environment must survive so that plants, animals and humans can survive. That is why the project seeks to green the environment and discourage all activities that will causes harm to the environment such as excessive cutting down of trees.
“The project will also look into the issues of water because of its importance to making. We will also seek to tackle the issues of erosion that affects our homes and farmlands.
“And because the people have to survive in order for life to move, the project will address livelihood by ways of providing soft loans to women, youth and the elderly so as to assuage the suffering of the people and give them something to fall back on” he explained.
The team while going round the different zones met with traditional and religious leaders, Council Chairmen and stakeholders where they explained the focus of the project and sought the support of these people for easy execution.
At Kurmi and Sardauna Local governments, the project Engineer, Mr Emmanuel Finlack stressed the importance of participation in the project while assuring the people that the Worldbank project is not one to be taken lightly because of its serious nature.
However, the team lamented lack of cooperation in some of the communities and also the disputes associated with lands or areas to be used for execution of projects.
The team emphasized that the project is for the communities and the areas to be used for the afforestation, boreholes and others must be obtained from the communities even though there will be compensations.
All stakeholders who met with the ACReSAL team, especially traditional and religious leaders, expressed happiness with the project and pledged maximum support and cooperation whenever anything is needed for the project.
They also assured the team that they would pass the message round to ensure that everyone in the community gives in their best in order to assist the project, and they’ll also mediate with the people for easy access.
Generally,the ACReSAL project seeks to strike a balance between the environment and living beings such that one does not suffer because of the other.
The team consisted of the Project Engineer, the social livelihood officer, the communications officer, geographical information officer and other key members that will work together in the execution of the project.
Worldview gathered that the team went round the 16 local government Areas of the state to carry out the sensitization so that they can hit the ground running ahead of other activities that pertains to the project.