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Africa must rise to check desert encroachment – Adichie

By Emmanuel Elebeke

CONCERNS for  the expansion of the Sahara Desert and the devastating effect of climate change found a voice in one of Africa’s novelist, Chimamanda Adichie, who urged government and corporate organizations to respond to the threats.

Adichie said  all efforts must be made by governments and corporate organizations to check the devastating effects of desert  encroachment  into the savanna forest, which she described as a shame on the continent.

Adichie who was speaking at the auctioning of  the works  of  art from the six team of desert worriers during their recent third expedition from Lagos to London said that the continued disappearance of  grazing fields, farmlands,  and depleting water resources, and the negative effects on food production, the air and even the migration problem resulting from  desertification can no longer be neglected by African people, if the survival of the people must be assured.

She lamented that while other continents were striving to mitigate desert encroachment into their territory, Africa and Nigeria are doing noting.

Adichie then called on both government and corporate bodies including individuals to join hands with fight against desert encroachment, FADE in the crusade to mitigate desert encroachment to save Nigeria from the imminent danger.

Also speaking at the occasion, CEO of  Fine and Country International, Mrs. Udo Okonjo said the crusade being led by Dr. Newton Jubnoh is a worthy course that  needs the support of  every government and individual to address the  imminent danger facing Africa from the continued spread of Sahara desert, saying that the near death experience of the worriers since 1967  and the  message  from them points to the realities of desertification.

“This is a bigger message for Nigeria. There is something we can do as an individual, corporate  organizations, which Jibunoh has started. I urge  everyone to support what FADE is doing. WE are not just buying the art works  for the beauty but to support the worthy course FADE is pursuing.

Earlier in  his address, the founder of FADE, Dr. Newton Jibunoh said that 45 percent of the graze land was in place but as at today, the space had been reduced to only 5 percent by Sahara desert encroachment, describing it as worrisome.

He warned that government must begin now to initiate programmes to check the menace or risk the devastating effects on the country.

“If we continue the way we are today, nothing will be left. What we are trying to do is to exhibit the images of expedition to global community to see the danger Africa is facing from desert encroachment.

Only few people have done what we are doing and if we do not do it for ourselves, no one will do it for us. He then urged every Nigerian to be part of the crusade against desert encroachment to mitigate the negative effects of Sahara desert on human environment.

“What we realized from this auction will go into our drive for mitigation to save our environment and farmland from the menace of desert,” he said. Meanwhile, over five million was realized from the auctioning exercise.


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