Bauchi Three Million Rural Dwellers To Benefit From ACReSAL Project

By Khalid Idris Doya

No fewer than three Million ((3,000,000) people, particularly in the rural dwellers in Bauchi state would benefit from the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL), a World Bank supported project in the state, Governor Bala Mohammed has revealed

The ACReSAL project, according to the governor, will intervene in massive Tree planting, Irrigation Farming. Agroforestry, Green House Farming, Plant Nursery Development Units, Farm Produce Processing Centres and Integrated Solar- Powered Borehole Schemes across all the Local Government Areas in the State.

At the project four-day stakeholders meeting in Bauchi Wednesday, the governor said, “I am very pleased to inform you that our State, through the SPMU has received the advance release of the ($2,000,000:00) sum of Two Million Dollars to commence implementation of the project in earnest”

He told the project six years implementation team that seven communities of the state namely Gwaram, Kirfi, Gololo, Gwallagan Mayaka, Duguri, Suleiman Adamu and Yakubun Bauchi are beneficiaries of the first stage of the project implementation with huge interventions of civil works to include storm water- drainages and dams to avert effects of flooding and erosion.  

“Bauchi State is endowed with natural resources and special ecosystems, game reserves, vast arable and irrigable lands as well as water resources comprising 10 macro-watersheds, 46 micro- watersheds, seven major rivers, five lakes and ten major wetlands”.

The Governor said however that in spite of these endowments, natural and man-induced climatic changes and population increase constitute a barrier to development and the State’s capacity to reach its optimum potentials.

Mohammed therefore expressed the belief that ACReSAL project aimed at increasing sustainable landscape management practices in targeted watersheds in Northern Nigeria and strengthening Nigeria’s long term enabling environment for integrated climate- resilient landscape management, will go a long way in providing solutions to the state’s lingering ecological problems.

“Our first Expression of Interest to participate In ACReSAI Project was prepared by the State’s Technical Team and submitted to the World Bank in 2021. Within a period of two years, there were many engagements during which the State Government assiduously pursued all the processes of establishing the ACRESAL State Project Management Unit (SPMU), deployment of competent staff to the SPMU, provided project Vehicles and above all release of the counterpart funds in the sum of Five Hundred Million Naira (N500, 000,000:0) in 2022 despite the dwindling resources”.

He further explained “We also budgeted additional sum of Five Hundred Million Naira (N500, 000,000:00) in our “Budget of Accomplishment and Renewed Commitment” of 2023, making the total sum of our counterpart fund contributions to One Billion Naira (N1, 000,000,000:00) within two years”.

The State Project Coordinator Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Gamawa on behalf of the benefitting communities in the state commended the government of Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed for the initiative to participate in the ACReSAL project.

Dr. Ibrahim Gamawa who enumerated the various benefits of the projects, also presented representatives of the benefiting communities to the governor, solicited their support and cooperation towards the successful execution and sustenance of the targeted projects in the various communities of the state.

He explained that the ACReSAL project which is a 6-year strategic project prioritizing actions within four components including Dryland Management, Community Climate Resilience, Institutional Strengthening and Project Management and Contingent Emergency Response, would address environmental challenges and improve the livelihoods of the benefiting communities.

He said, “We have made significant achievements in developing our action plans for the implementation of the World Bank supported project in partnership with the World Bank to be implemented in 19 northern states.”

According to him, the implementation unit will ensure effective and judicious utilization of all the funds for the benefit of the state and its people.

The Emir of Katagum, Alhaji Umar Farouk II who was at the event appointed as the patron of the project implementation team assured the governor that they would do their best in ensuring its success, adding “At the end of the six years project implementation, there would be institutionalized arrangement to sustain the laudable project in which over three million Bauchi state indigenes would benefit”.

On his part, the State Commissioner for Environment who is the chairman of the steering committee, Hamisu Mu’azu Shira, said the project is a welcome development to the state, hence the need for the steering and technical Committees to engage all the critical stakeholders to achieve the desired objectives.

Highlights of the event included the presentation of a Fellowship Award by the Environmental & Disaster Risk Reduction Institute of Nigeria (EMDRRI) to Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed.

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