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Borno Govt, UNICEF Canvas For The Planting Of One Million Trees To Green Jobs 

By Ladi Dapson 

The United Nations Children’s Fund urged the stakeholders to address environmental challenges by planting one million trees to create green jobs and reduce the climate change crisis around the Lake Chad region.

Speaking at an event organized to mark the 2024 World Environment Day in Maiduguri, UNICEF Chief of Field Office Phuong T. Nguyen said it has become the largest global platform for environmental outreach, engaging millions across the world in a united effort to protect our planet.

According to her, here in Borno State, the challenges people face are acute.

Children in Nigeria, particularly in the Chad Basin region, are increasingly exposed to the adverse effects of climate change, including flooding, drought, and rising temperatures. 

“These climatic extremes threaten their health, nutrition, education, and access to essential services such as water, sanitation, and healthcare. 

The situation is exacerbated by worsening droughts, deforestation, and poor land management practices, driving desertification and displacement.

“Widespread poverty, governance challenges, and conflict further complicate the landscape, impacting children’s access to food, water, sanitation, education, and safety. 

These factors contribute to heightened vulnerability, leading to increased instances of gender-based violence, child marriage, and child labor.

“Energy poverty, with only 55.4 percent of the population having access to electricity severely impacts education, health, and access to water. 

High reliance on charcoal and wood fuel not only causes indoor air pollution but also drives deforestation and desertification,” she said.

She maintained that the initiative aims to garner political support, scientific research, and financial resources to scale up restoration efforts worldwide.

Speaking, the State Acting Governor, Umaru Kadafur acknowledged the state’s main environmental concerns, including desertification, deforestation, over-cultivation, perennial flooding, and the recent unbearable heat waves and sandstorms.

Khadafur expressed plans to review the law against tree felling and bush burning, to ensure stiffer punishment for offenders, as a way of preventing deforestation and preserving the natural environment.

“We are committed to controlling ecological and environmental sanitation issues, including WASH and hygiene, with the support of humanitarian and development partners.

“We are willing to support and continue to partner with all stakeholders in the environment to restore, preserve, converse, and develop the land and environment, which is a global requirement.

“Let us strengthen our resolve to become a model state in environment conservation. Together, let us rise to the challenge and ensure a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable world for all.”Kadafur said.

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