Gombe state Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya on Wednesday visited Ministers of Water Resources and Environment, Engr Sulaiman Adamu and Alhaji Mohammad Manhood in Abuja.
The Governor, in company of of the commissioner for water resources, Alhaji Mijinyawa Yahaya and his environment counterpart, Dr. Hussaina Goje as well as other aides, sought for support and collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in his desire to commence the second regional water supply project from Balanga Dam.
The two leaders also discussed the Dadinkowa Hydropower project, Gombe Industrial park, urban water water supply among others.
Governor Yahaya informed the minister that his administration has already keyed into the expanded programme on water, sanitation and hygiene ( PEWASH) and othe Federal Government initiatives and has lined up programmes, including massive rehabilitation of existing boreholes, drilling of new ones and construction of toilets as well as provision of sanitary facilities in schools, health centres and other densely populated public places.
On his part, the Minister commended the Governor for his determination to tackle water supply problem in Gombe state as well as his support to irrigation farming through the provision of land for the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria Project to improve access to irrigation and drainage services.
At the Ministry of Environment, the Governor said the vegetational composition of Gombe State coupled with mining and poor agricultural practices have negatively impacted on environmental management, leading to desertification and gully erosion.
He further explained that the State capital is situated in a deep valley which makes it more easier for large volume of water to flow through the city each time it rains.
He said these environmental challenges confronting the State were what informed his visit to the Federal Ministry of Environment so as to seek for ways to improve the environment for the benefit of the people of the State.
Governor Yahaya said in the quest to save the environment, his administration has embarked on reforestation programme code named Gombe Goes Green (3G) targeting the planting of four million trees in four years.
He said the Forest Research Institute of Nigeria has equally joined hands with Gombe State Government to ensure that the target of planting the four million trees is achieved.
Governor Yahaya expressed the hope that through the climate change agenda and intervention funds, the State Government will partner with the Federal government to holistically address the challenges confronting the Environment.
He disclosed that his administration has since paid its counterpart fund of 500 million Naira to facilitate the activities of NEWMAP to help in the control of the monstrous gullies in the the State.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya expressed concern that the State may be left with more of such gullies to contain with in view of the fact that the NEWMAP project is gradually coming to an end.
He said the State has identified over two hundred active gullies, a situation the Governor said calls for concerted efforts to address.
On his part, the Minister of Environment, Alhaji Mohammed Mahmood applauded Governor Inuwa Yahaya for his determination to reclaim the environment through the Gombe Goes Green (3G) initiative, saying the Federal Ministry of Environment will support the noble effort.
He described the afforestation programme of Gombe state as one of the most organized in the country, calling on other states to emulate the Gombe model.
He said his Ministry, through its agencies will continue to work in partnership with the Gombe State Government to improve the environment and the general ecosystem.
He appreciated Gombe state Governor for providing office accommodation for some of the arms of the Ministry, which he said will facilitate more harmonious and closer working relationship.