A United Kingdom-based climate activist, Iliya Yame Kwache, has challenged the government of Nigeria, to take fighting climate change seriously, by engaging public servants, in tree planting exercise.
Iliya, the labour party candidate for Michika-Madagali Federal Constituency seat in the national assembly, made the call after leading the planting of 10,000 trees in Adamawa State through his I.Y Kwache Foundation.
Kwache said urgent actions needed to be taken to tackle climate change so that some of the effect of the phenomenon such as floodings, desert encroachment in the North and gully erosion, in the South East region will be reduced and mitigated.
He said, “All public servants as a rule must plant a tree as part of their annual appraisal.
“All graduates mobilised for the National Youth Service Corps must plant trees as a part of the community development service before they will be allowed to pass out at the end of their service year.
“Members of the Armed forces, the police and para-military agencies should be mobilised on annual based for Mass tree planting.”
He also said the government can encourage faith-based organisations to mobilized their members to organise annual mass tree planting after jumaat prayers and church services.
Speaking on the significance of his tree planting campaign in Michika, where 10,000 trees consisting of various variety that included Mahogany, Shea butter, black plum and olive, Kwache said it was his only little contributions to halt encroaching desertification.
“We want in our own little way fight climate change, drive away the desert. Sahara desert is overrunning Northern Nigeria. So we want to minimize or mitigate it’s impact on our community,” he added.
He, however, urged the Federal Government to take seriously the issue of climate change, to fight the impact of desertification in the North, adding, “The job we are doing is suppose to be the government’s job. Because government has the resources, wherewithal and the manpower.
“So if the government can key into this programme of tree planting, which we want her to take seriously.
“Corpers are mobilised annually. Civil servants and public servants on the government’s payroll, could be asked to plant trees as a requirement to get promotion to their next level.
“You can imagine if a million people in the country, corpers, public servants, the military and police will be promoted and detailed by government to plant trees as a form of desertification control.”