Worried by rate of desert encroachment in the country, the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, in Kaduna State, has intensified efforts toward combating the menace through tree planting in its barracks.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony in Zaria on Wednesday, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Zakaria Shamaki, said tree planting was a collective responsibility.
Shamaki, who was represented by the director of forestry, Mr Anthony Kachiro, said that the presence of trees made the environment more habitable and stressed the need for people to plant trees and nurse them for the benefit of all.
According to him, the state government was exploring ways to reward people who planted trees and ensured their survival.
Earlier, the Commandant of the army base, Brig.-Gen. Husseini Saliu, said the purpose of the tree planting was to replace the ageing trees.
Saliu said that the exercise would go a long way in protecting buildings from windstorm, besides providing free and healthy air for the inhabitants.
While thanking the Ministry of Environment for donating the seedlings, the commandant called for harmonious relationship between the ministry and the depot.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Ministry of Environment had donated about 3,000 tree seedlings to the Army Depot for planting.