By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos

Within the week, the Minister of Defence, Muhammed Badaru lamented the devastating effects of climate change and called for increased legislative policy and fiscal attention to preserve the integrity of the environment.

The Minister through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ibrahim Kana spoke on the topic: “Industrialization, Energy Security and Climate Change: Implications for National Security,” at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State while addressing participants of the Senior Executive Course, SEC 45 during their defence and security studies week.

He advocated that security consequences of abusing the environment be fully integrated into the national security and defence architecture so the negative effects of climate change on national security could be understood and called on government at all levels to “intensify actions in promoting education and monitoring as key intervention strategies for managing climate change.”

That climate change is real and causing havoc is not in doubt but the efforts by all stakeholders to address the issue is grossly inadequate hence the growing environmental degradation and insecurity in communities.

However, to escalate an action that would mitigate the menace, the Centre for Gospel Health and Development, CeGHaD, a faith-based organization with the support of European Union through Christian Blind Mission, CBM commenced the planting of about 1,400 trees at the Ganawuri Chiefdom in the Riyom local government area of Plateau State. The trees were shared among the different groups from the different communities in the chiefdom with a plea that they nurture the trees to grow and check the adverse effects of climate change.

Nansik Onu of CeGHaD handing over a tree to the Atta Aten of Ganawuri, HRH Yakubu Chaimang

Speaking at the sharing of the diverse trees, the Programme Director, Enabling Resilience to Climate Change, ER2CC of CeGHaD, Yakubu Dasu said, “God created the heavens and earth, he created everything and said it was beautiful but the human God created and put on earth, have decided to destroy the earth. That is why today we are talking about climate change because of the activities of humans on the earth like deforestation. The man was supposed to take care of the things God created.

“This ER2CC project is a three-year project, we got support from the European Union through CBM. This gathering is for various group leaders, the Village Economy and Social Association, VESA and the Control Disaster Rate Committee, CDRC. We are giving these trees to the various group leaders. We have created six VESA in four communities in the Riyom local government area and they are to share them with the members of their groups. They can plant the trees in their compound, or their farm.

“I am assuring you that CeGHaD would monitor the trees where they are planted and how you are taking care of the trees. The reason is that for this particular project, we would be planting for the next three years but we are going to watch if you are faithful with these, we are going to give you more.

Today we are giving you 1,100 trees to plant. The total number of trees to be planted in Riyom this year is 1,400. Today we brought 1,100 trees to share with these groups. We would come to the communities to share more again.”

The Director of Forestry in the State Ministry of Environment, Samuel Gupar extended the government commendation to CeGHaD for the efforts in curbing the negative effects of climate change which is threatening human survival and stressed the gesture is complementing the Government’s efforts in tackling climate change.

He noted, “There are lots of efforts the government has put in this community concerning tree planting. If you look around, you will see a lot of trees in the community compared to other communities. Trees are blessings from God and that is why he created trees before creating humans. We keep cutting down trees without replanting them and now it is affecting the weather. The weather is affecting us. We are the ones destroying ourselves.

As you collect these trees please go and plant them and take care of them. You never can tell the blessings attached to a tree because they give fruits and shades. We appreciate CeGHaD for bringing the project to the community.”

The Paramount Chief of the Chiefdom, the Atta Aten of Ganawuri, HRH Yakubu Chaimang lamented the indiscriminate felling of trees and promised to nurture the trees as he stated, “Things have become a little bit difficult, if somebody plants the trees, by the next day, someone else will cut them and use for another purpose. I believe it is very important to plant these trees so that if one is being cut, then other trees would still be there and by the grace of God we will all benefit by doing it ourselves.

This is very useful since it is people from far away that are cooperating with us to ensure that we benefit from this, we will take care of the trees and reap the benefits.”


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