Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Monday said the State Government would provide free cooking stoves to rural dwellers in the state to discourage use of firewood.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Tambuwal as saying that the gesture is part of measures to curb desert encroachment and land degradation in the state.
Tambuwal also announced immediate ban of trees cutting for firewood and domestic purposes.
The governor was speaking at the flag-off of the 2015 Tree Planting Campaign at Kawadata Village in the Goronyo Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, to mitigate the effect of the new policy on rural dwellers, government will provide modern stoves, while encouraging residents to explore other sources of energy like coal.
Tambuwal also urged residents to cultivate the habit of planting economic trees like gum Arabic and date palm, which he said, would not only help in preserving the environment but would alleviate poverty and tackle unemployment.
The governor said that growing trees was both an environmental and spiritual obligation, adding: ” Islam encourages planting of trees for the benefit of communities”.
The Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Garba Sarkin-Kudu, said that a two- kilometre shelter-belt would be established in each of the three senatorial zones in the state.
He said that the government’s house-to-house tree planting campaign had been carried in the 400 housing estates in the city to provide shelter.
The theme for this year’s campaign is: “Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration’’.