The Katsina state Ministry of Environment says it has from 2015 to date invested over 8 billion Naira in addressing ecological challenges in the state.
The commissioner of Environment, Alhaji Hamza Sule disclosed this during a weekly media briefing organized by the state correspondent chapel at government house Press Centre, Katsina.
Such ecological challenges, according to the Commissioner include drought, flood, erosion,waste management and climate change effects that have continue to endanger the lives of the citizenry and impact negatively on the health well being of the people.
He said that the Ecological problems impact negatively on agricultural farmlands, acces roads, hydraulic structures and other facilities, including schools and health units.
Alhaji Hamza Sule disclosed that the state APC administration reactivated the operations of the state Ecological Fund Law number 5 of 2005 and amended in 2014, which provided for statutory deductions of not less than 2% of monthly allocations due to the state and the 34 local governments from the federation account to address Ecological challenges across the nooks and crannies of the state.
The commissioner revealed that needs assessments in several communities prone to ecological issues was carried out across the state with a view to intervene, adding that the Ministry undertook the construction of flood and erosion control structures in 122 sites covering over 150 communities in the state.
He said that the Ministry executed projects that have 88,537m of combined reinforced concrete lined, block lined and masonry lined drainages.
He announced that the Ministry also constructed 1910m of retaining wall, 360m length of drift, 104 number of culverts and 1550m of embarkment.
In Katsina Metropolis alone, Alhaji Hamza Sule disclosed that the Ministry constructed 21,139m of combined reinforced concrete linedz block lined and masonry lined drainages and 24 number of box culverts.
Other achievements, according to the Commissioner include the reclamation of 50 hectres of degraded land in maifaru village of Zango local government and the reclamation of 50 hectres of degraded land in Fanteka village of Mai’adua local government, all executed under NEWMAP project.
The commissioner announced the payment of over 59.3 million Naira counterpart funding for sensitisation on tree planting and reforestation of degraded forests estates under the European Union Grant Project for sustainable development of farm agro forestry and fuel wood conservation system.
In line with the federal government policy on promotion and utilisation of solar and energy efficient cooking stoves, Alhaji Hamza Sule disclosed that the state government produced 34,000 mud cooking stoves for distribution to the 34 local governments at the cost of over 25.3 million Naira.
He revealed that the state government had sustained participation in the National Great Green Wall project, stressing that in 2017, the project produced 2 million seedlings, shelter belt plantations, and construction of skills acquisition centre in Sandamu local government.
On waste management, the commissioner said that the Ministry had commissioned five refuse collection vehicles with 105 refuse containers imported from China by Governor Aminu Masari and placed at designated refuse collection centres in Katsina, Funtua and Daura.
He also announced the construction of 26 blocks of 10 shops and modern commercial sheds in the three senatorial zones of Katsina, Funtua and Daura.
In addition, Alhaji Hamza Sule disclosed that there was the procurement and fabrication of 75 containers for easy refuse evacuation at the cost of 37.5 million Naira, adding that 8 ventilated improved pit latrines were rehabilitated at the cost of 2.8 million Naira.
He said that the Ministry had procured 7 sack sprayers and 15 machines for pest and vector control to reduce mosquitoes at the cost of 8.8 million Naira, saying that the Ministry undertook routine soak away evacuation of Katsina Central Prison on quarterly basis at 315,000 Naira.
Alhaji Hamza Sule disclosed that recruitment of 231 casual staff and increasing their monthly allowances from 2,000 to 7,000 Naira was done adding that the Ministry spend 2.6 million Naira in the procurement of additional sanitation materials such as brooms, diggers, shovels and wheel barrows .
He announced that another 1 million Naira was spent in the procurement of uniforms for casual staff and they include Rain boots, nose and mouth covers, hand gloves and apron.
Another major project, he said was the construction of state of the art Gwan Gwan shopping complex with 117 shops and latrines at the cost of over 234.2 million Naira adding that the construction of commercial sheds along IBB way and Lawal Kaita Road in Katsina Metropolis cost over 42 million Naira.
He announced the payment of over 500 million Naira counterpart funding for NEWMAP projects, stressing that another 500 million Naira was spent in the payment of consulting firms that appraised and produced comprehensive designs on 16 new small earth dams to be carried out in 20 local governments across the state.
He said all the dams shall have integrated irrigation facilities to enhance the livelihood of benefitting communities.
The commissioner spoke at length on similar other achievements in the Ministry and aspirations in the environment sub sector.
Highlight of the media briefing was a question and answer session.
Hassan Muhammad Tukur
Ministry of information