Though in this part of the world we have not attained comparable industrial status that threaten the ecosystem in waste and air pollution, we have our peculiar environmental problems that pose similar magnitude of concern to the health of the people, especially erosion and desert encroachment. The government of Sokoto State considered this area a major priority and created the Ministry of Environment to confront the lingering problems associated with ecological problems to handle policy execution in matters of clean environment for good health of the people. The Ministry of Environment is saddled with the management of ecological order of the state. There is increased effort to erect shelter belts along the desert prone areas such as Wamakko, Illela, Gwadabawa, Bissalam, Gudu and Gada, among others. Some villages in these areas had been covered by sand dunes. The ministry that has operational ambits of environmental health and pollution, erosion and flood management and forestry protection has established 80 kilometres of conventional shelter belt in addition to random planting of eucalyptus tree species plantation for sand dune fixation and desertification control at Gidan Kaura in Gada Local Government Area, and also about 250 kilometres of shelter belt have been established across the 23 local governments of the state. About 1,000,000 tree seedlings of different species were raised in the year 2008 in four functional nurseries, namely, 200,000 in Kainuwa in Kware Local Government, 200,000 in Gidan Kaura in Gada Local Government, 300,000 in Sokoto-Zamfara Road and 300,000 in Bodinga in Bodinga Local Government. These have been distributed free to various interest groups to encourage tree planting in the state to check desert encroachment. This is a fight that we all must become a part of to salvage our environment for the generation yet unborn.
Mohammed S. Umar is the President Sokoto Liberal Democrat Media Foundation (SOLID).Sokotosolid2007@yahoo.com