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Desertification threatens 14 northern states, says don

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[FILES] Kano state . Photo: YOUTUBE

The Director, Desert Research Monitoring and Control Centre (DRMC) of the Yobe State University (YSU), Prof. Hassan Galal, has said that the integration of fields of sciences is to fight desertification and environmental hazards, which threatens 14 northern states.

According to him, about 50 per cent of the states in the country are affected by desert encroachment at 600 metres yearly.

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Galal raised the alarm yesterday in Damaturu, while announcing 11 local councils affected by desertification for over two decades in the state.

He further disclosed that Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kano, Gombe, Bauchi, Borno and Bauchi states in the North East were affected, while the buffer affected states include Taraba, Niger, Kwara, Kaduna and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The 10 affected states also have high populations that cover 38 per cent of the country’s landmass.

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He attributed the southward encroachment of the Sahara desert to “non-mitigation of desertification” in communities by the federal and states’ environment ministries.

While lamenting desertification, he said: “Most of the desert affected communities and towns in the north have been buried by sand dunes,” adding that there was already pressure on degraded farmlands and orchards.

Galal cited the Tulo-Tulo sand dunes that buried the herding and farming community with rich natural resources, including potash.

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He noted that the 600-metre encroachment of the desert also led to the migration of 20.8 million people with their livestock to the south.

To mitigate desert encroachment, he stressed the need for tree planting campaigns.

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