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Racing against the climate crisis: moving from seed beds to the soil – Christian Aid

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja
16 September 2022   |   9:14 am
Christain Aid Nigeria in partnership with World Food Programme (WFP), Tuesday, began the planting of 100,000 tree seedlings within Maiduguri and its environs as part of its 2022 livelihood support to the state.

Christian Aid PHOTO: Bridget Chiedu Onochie

Christain Aid Nigeria in partnership with World Food Programme (WFP), Tuesday, began the planting of 100,000 tree seedlings within Maiduguri and its environs as part of its 2022 livelihood support to the state.

This exercise is in collaboration with the Borno Geographic Information Service (BOGIS), Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement as well as private organizations.

Christian Aid described the official flag-off as a very significant beginning for action to curb the growing deforestation plaguing Borno and other states within Nigeria.

The NGO noted that climate change poses a grave risk to agricultural activities, income, health and well-being of individuals and communities.

“With the increase in drought and desertification, arable land for growing food is reducing, and many people now face the threat of hunger and malnutrition. The world is currently fighting to keep about 800 million malnourished people healthy and food secure.

“Christian Aid is engaging in meaningful climate activities for the world’s most vulnerable people. The organization is partnering with a wide variety of stakeholders, ranging from private to government and communities, to combat deforestation in Borno State by planting trees across multiple locations.

“From 2018 to date, Christian Aid with funding from World Food Programme (WFP) has sowed, raised and transplanted 450,000 tree seedlings across Jere, Mafa, Monguno and Maiduguri Metropolises (MMC) local government areas of Borno State.

“The trees are hybrid species of black current, acacia neem and Moringa, Mango and Guava. These trees have food, economic and medicinal benefits, contributing to the overall wellness of people and the environment.

The Organization added that in 2022, the number of trees sowed and raised for transplant is 100,000, including 50,000 moringa, 25,000 black current and 25,000 neem.

Speaking at the event, the Humanitarian Response Manager, of Christian Aid Nigeria, Alemu Bunaka, stated that Christian Aid was sowing positive seeds in Borno State and in the lives of the people.

According to him, “The seeds go beyond the physical ones we are planting today but the financial investments made over the last five years of actively implementing humanitarian interventions in Borno State.

“They are seeds of hope for a more stable and resilient community. For this year, Christian Aid has planted seedlings in Malakyariri Community and now we want to reach more locations”, Alemu added.

The Borno State Government in its remarks applauded Christian Aid for making bold steps towards ensuring sustainable livelihood and environment for the people of the state through the provision of fruit tree plantations and other interventions.

“Currently, the state government has a green project under which it issues and provides free tree seedlings to all new allottees of land and the partnership with Christian Aid will complement the green project.

Speaking further, Chairman, Borno Geographic Information Service (BOGIS), Alh. Bashir Shettima said: “We are very delighted with Christian Aid’s efforts to curb climate change and forest restoration in Borno State. The service is ready to partner with the organization to ensure the growth and achievement of this noble endeavour.”

“The selected locations for the transplant include within the government estate {teachers’ village and Bakasi}, within the environs of Alpha Mechanic Village along Numan/Biu Road and between our layouts BOTP/72 and BOTP/64 Pompomari layout.

For Christian Aid, Climate Justice is one of the top five global advocacy and priority areas.

“We are advocating for and working towards climate-resilient agriculture, nutrition and food security and early warning and early action as part of our climate justice interventions.

“Christian Aid is in the race against the climate crisis and we cannot leave anyone behind. It takes collective action to save our planet. We will continue to advocate and partner with organizations, groups and individuals to ensure this justice is a reality.