Roundup: Khartoum State plants 1,000 trees within greenbelt project

KHARTOUM, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Sudan’s Khartoum State authorities on Thursday started planting around 1,000 trees as part of the state’s greenbelt project which is part of the African Great Green Wall.

“The project has many advantages as it contributes to curbing desertification and limiting the phenomenon of the global warming,” Abdullatif Fidaili, Omdurman commissioner, told reporters Thursday.

“We are seeking to build a tree belt around Khartoum State as part of Sudan’s contribution to the African Great Wall project,” he noted.

Sudan, like other African countries, needs a plant cover, where an earlier study for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicated that Sudan has lost between 250,000 to 1,250,000 hectares of the total area of its forests since 2005.

The arid and semi-arid lands in Sudan extend over 51 percent of the country’s total area.

“Khartoum State is facing issues relating to desert encroachment,” Tariq Hamadnalla, director of Khartoum State’s general environmental administration, told reporters here Thursday.

“This is the beginning for the greenbelt project. We are in a battle against desert creeping, where we are working to build a greenbelt to prevent desertification and settle many environmental issues.”

Desert encroachment constitutes one of the threats facing Sudan after it expanded in 14 Sudanese states and covered around three percent of the land’s total areas, at a time when local studies indicated that about 64 percent of the Sudanese land is exposed to desertification due to natural or human factors.

Earlier, chairman of the higher council for environment and promotion of urban and rural development in Khartoum State, Omer Nimir, said the state’s greenbelt project would include planting thorn, shade and citrus trees.

He said Khartoum State greenbelt extends at a length of 285 km and a width of 200 km, adding that the first phase of the project started from the western rural area of Omdurman city at a length of five kms.

The African Great Green Wall project was endorsed by the community of Sahel-Saharan states (CEN-SAD) in 2005 and then it was approved by the African Union in 2007 as a strategic African project to help the African countries curb up the risk of desert creeping which threatens the CEN-SAD countries.

The great green wall is the first of its kind for the CEN-SAD countries which includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal.

The project combines local and hybrid plant formations, pastoral units and animal enclosures, whereas it would greatly contribute to finding biological balance, combating poverty and unemployment and creating small projects to assimilate labor force.

The Great Green Wall is the first of its kind for the CEN-SAD countries which includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal.

The importance of the wall emanates from the fact that it helps build a plant cover barrier that helps stop advancement of sand and desertification. Enditem

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