World Bank offers Nigerian govt $700m for land degradation project

NEWS DIGEST – The World Bank on Sunday said it will US$ 700 million to the Federal Government to implement the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes, ACReSAL, project in some Northern states in the country.

Sanjay Srivastava, Practice Manager, Environmental, Nature Resources and Blue Economy, West and Central Africa, World Bank, told the News Agency of Nigeria in an interview in Abuja, that the world bank initiated the programme in collaboration with the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development and Water Resources.

He said that the objective of the project was to address environmental challenges, provide a water system and restore degraded lands for agriculture.

He said that the world bank is very excited about the programme, adding that the project covers those desert states in the Northern part of the country.

“We are working with the federal, state and local governments. The world bank is providing US$ 700 million to finance the government through the ministry of finance.

“This is to ensure that the project is implemented effectively, using a new technology to improve in addressing the environmental challenges and the project is going to last for five years.

“The project will address the environmental challenges which include climate change, erosion and flood, biodiversity, land degradation, among others in the country.

“The issue of desertification in those states are on a high rate and if something is not done, it will continue extending, affecting a lot of productive lands in the states, thereby causing poor production.

“So, the project is to restore the degraded lands. The project will also address issues of water stress which is already drying up in those states.

“We want to ensure that there will be access to good water, as it will be available to farmers for their agriculture and the people in those communities as well,” he said.

He urged the people of the benefiting states to support the world bank team and the Federal Government’s effort, adding that the project would assist the poor by providing means of livelihood.

NAN

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