Nigerians have been enjoined to make wise use of the wetlands’ resources so as to enjoy continuous yield and help the future generations meet their needs and aspirations.
The Director, Technical Programmes, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr. Joseph Onoja, who gave this charge in Nguru, Yobe State, recently, also said that this could only happen when people ensure that they engage in activities that are sustainable and friendly to their environment.
Onoja, while addressing the gathering during the NCF Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands Conservation Project (NCF-HNWCP) celebration of the 2016 Annual World Wetlands Day, said wetlands are among the world’s most productive environment and are very sensitive to pollution from indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
“The wetlands’ productivity depends on the proper ecological functioning of wetlands, which is distorted by unsustainable and unfriendly anthropogenic environmental practices,” he said.
The Acting Chairman of Nguru Local Government Area, while commending the efforts of the organisers of the event and the activities of the NCF-Hadejia-Nguru Conservation Project in the wetlands over the years, said the people in Nguru were so grateful to NCF for choosing to host this year’s celebration in their area.
“NCF’s activities have always impacted our people and the community positively, and this can be seen in their improved living conditions,” he added.
Beneficiaries of the empowerment programme of the Foundation also expressed their gratitude for improved standard of living, after having undergone training in mat making, beekeeping, fishing and production of fuel-efficient stoves.
The NCF-HNWCP is part of the organisation’s Living on the Edge (LotE) project implemented in different parts of Nigeria and the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Wetlands for Our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods’.
February 2 of every year is set aside by member countries’ signatories to the RAMSAR Convention as a day to celebrate the importance of wetlands ecosystem and its role to people and this year’s event aimed to create public awareness on the significance and management of Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands in particular and the Nigerian wetlands environment in general.