The Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes, (ACReSAL) project will restore about one million hectares of degraded lands in Northern Nigeria, the Task Team Leader of the project, Dr Joy Iganya Agene has said.
Speaking at the opening of a one-week implementation support mission for the ACReSAL participating states in Kano, Dr Agene said the project is established to increase the adoption of sustainable landscape management practices in targeted watersheds in Northern Nigeria.
With proposed financing of $700m and implementation period of six years, the project is a continuation of the recently elapsed Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) which was held across the 19 Northern states of the country.
Agene stressed that the over $700 million worth project is in partnership between the World Bank, Federal Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development and the Federal Ministry of Water resources.
“Beyond the restoration of land as ACReSAL is expected to restore about one million as a mission by the President Muhammadu Buharir’s administration, we also wants to live behind institutions that will be able to do this on their own. So, we are happy to tell you that most of the states that are under ACReSAL are disbursement ready and we are good to go,” she said.
On his part, Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said the state has perform better in the just concluded NEWMAP project and that the project had accorded Kano with standing recognition, adding that they will put more efforts in ensuring that the ACReSAL project is also a success.
“The outstanding performance of the Project Management Unit of Kano-NEWMAP, led it to win the best performing state in land reclamation via Afforestation.
“It also won the best performing state in transparency and integrity and this led to the Transformation of the NEWMAP at its closure, into Watershed, Erosion and Climate Change Management Agency (WECCMA).”
The Governor also, expressed willingness in meeting its obligations in terms of payments of compensations and related counterpart funding for the realization of the noble interventions.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Environment, Dr Kabiru Ibrahim Getso expressed optimism that the Kano implementation mission would achieve desired results.
He expressed the commitment of the state in improving and protecting the Kano environment with priority and attention to the sector on issues of biodiversity conservation and restoration of degraded lands.