Nigeria: Abuja women face climate change, poverty and hunger with 6,000 cash crops

MANY women in Abuja have embraced an initiative to plant fruit trees around the Federal Capital Territory as a tool to stave off the rising tide of climate change, hunger and poverty.

The program involves the planting of 6,000 seedlings of mango, cashew, palm fruit among other varieties of fruits in community lands, farms, school premises, orphanages and other places of need.

The fast-growing but high-yielding sapling species were donated to women by the FCT administration as a means of alleviating hunger and poverty as well as fostering environmental awareness and sustainability in the nation’s capital. It will be recalled that Abuja, whose landscape had been shaded by both economic and ornamental trees, is now degraded due to indiscriminate felling of trees and construction of houses even in unapproved spaces, increasing thus the emission of carbon dioxide.

As a result, there has been an upward trend in the annual maximum temperature in the national capital, which has a significant impact on human health and general comfort, with an average intensity of 39.9°C generally recorded in the March. Disturbed by the need to sequester excess carbon from the atmosphere through reforestation, several women’s groups are working with authorities to harness the many benefits of planting trees to help keep the federal capital green. Some women, who spoke to the Arewa Voice correspondent at a colorful ceremony to mark the start of the 6,000 tree planting exercise, described the initiative as a big step towards the provision of food to those most affected by the growing trend of food insecurity as well as the creation of economic opportunities. for many vulnerable groups in the FCT.

Asked about the impact she intends to create with the young fruit trees distributed by the FCT administration, Mrs. Asabe Dan-Azumi, one of the beneficiaries, said, “I will plant these fruit trees in my community (Aleita) to ensure environmental protection and provide people with additional income. In the next 1-3 years they will start enjoying the fruits and hopefully selling the surplus for profit.

Another beneficiary, Ms Hannah Timothy, owner of a private school, said she would plant the saplings on her school premises to improve the aesthetics of the institution, raise awareness among its staff and students of the impact deforestation, as well as promoting the protection of the natural environment. “If only the young people we are preparing for the future became more aware of the benefits of planting economic trees and actually started planting economic trees at every opportunity they found, how beneficial would it be for both the nation and for our We would give our localities the beauty of a green and healthier environment,” she told Arewa Voice.

Earlier, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu said that the tree planting effort was aligned with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, particularly in the areas of l environmental sanitation, decent work and economic growth as well as the climate. biodiversity action and conservation. “For us at the FCT, the increasing population growth and other development activities over the years and perhaps the disregard for tree planting among residents have contributed to compounding environmental issues,” a- she declared.

In the same vein, Hadiza Kabir, Mandate Secretary of the FCT Social Development Secretariat, said the tree planting initiative was a big responsibility, which she said was aimed at protecting and conserving the environment for the future while improving the aesthetics of the nation. Capital city.

She also said it will reinvigorate President Muhammadu Buhari’s global commitment to plant 25,000,000 trees across the country as Nigeria’s contribution to the fight against climate change, global reforestation efforts and redress. damaged ecosystems.

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