The Improving the Fuel Wood Balance (FuWoBa) in 12 LGAs in Katsina State (Lot 1 and 2) Project held a Stakeholders/Peer review seminar at Bello Kofarbai Hall, Katsina State Secretariat on December 19, 2016 after completing a highly interesting but demanding mid-term period of two years on September 8, 2016.
The Project Coordinator of Lot 2, Mr. Austin Terngu who represented the Country Director, Oxfam in Nigeria presented a Welcome Address on behalf of the three implementing partners (Umaru Musa Yar Adua University – Lot 1; and Oxfam in Nigeria and International Center for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) –Lot 2). In his address, he gave a brief account on the successes of previous EU Projects in Katsina State; and making reference to the EEC Project in particular, concluded that the positive historical antecedent played an important role in bringing FuWoBa Project to the State.
Papers were presented on milestones recorded by Project Managers of the two Lots while Goodwill Messages came from the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning (represented by the Project’s Desk Officer – Mrs Adejumoke Aderiye), representatives of the Emirs of Daura and Katsina, and representatives of Hon. Commissioners from Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Justice amongst others.
The Hon. Minister in his message appreciated the progress made by both Lot 1 and 2 and advised the teams to be more focused and ensure that target results are achieved on time to justify the investment made by the EU and the approval given by the National Authorizing Officer. She concluded with the desire to visit stakeholders and the established project sites in the LGAs of her interest.
Next was the presentation of Progress Reports by the Project Managers. In his brief presentation, the Project Manager/Coordinator of Lot 1, Dr Abdullahi Mati, summarized the milestones achieved to include:
- 6,450 farmers (out of 12,000 target) trained on nursery practices and Agroforestry management.
- 226 nurseries have been established across the 5 LGAs and 2 millions seedlings raised.
- Seedlings raised and distributed to farmers were planted at 6,200 farmlands across the 5 LGAs.
- 500 youths and women from 25 CBOs and Cooperative Societies trained on Non-timber product processing techniques.
- Centers established at each LGAs to promote Public Private Partnership (PPP) entrepreneurship models developed under the Action.
- Improved mud stove designed and fabricated by the Action and 250 local potters trained on improved mud stove in collaboration with Katsina Youth craft village.
- 6 improved wood stove production Centers established across the 5 LGAs by the Action with the plan to produce 10,000 improved mud stoves for beneficiaries.
- 100 improved meat roasters (with net reduction of at least 30% firewood consumption) for Suya meat sellers designed and constructed at different locations across the 5 LGAs in collaboration with Suya meat sellers.
Similarly, the Project Manager/Team Leader, Lot 2 – Dr Chris Udokang presented his report in line with the requirements of approved Logical Framework of the Project. He summarized the achievements made by Lot 2 to include, inter alia:
- Establishment of seven (7) Community Nurseries in the 7 benefiting LGAs;
- 1,250,200 seedlings raised from 21 Nurseries and over 940,000 tree seedlings distributed to farmers
- 37m trees captured through Farmer Manage Natural Regeneration approach from 63,414 ha of land across the LGAs
- 28,389 Households (HHs) effectively reached on awareness raising campaigns, meetings and seminars (achieved 51.62% of target 55,000 HHs as against 75% limit at project end).
- 186,952 final beneficiaries (representing 67.98% of target beneficiaries) reached and these had consciously identified eight (8) main causes of deforestation to include Drought, Overgrazing caused by the activities of cattle herdsmen, High domestic fire wood consumption, Uncontrolled cutting of trees, Local farming methods, Population growth, Non-inclusion of pastoralists in Agric and Environmental Development Plans, Inability of farmers to plant more trees to fight back desert encroachment. Target was the identification of three main causes of deforestation.
- 38 Capacity building trainings conducted across the 7 LGAs and their Communities
- 700 CBOs members (planned target) and 485 animators/entrepreneurs trained to support CBOs at the Community level. Overall, the PMU achieved 57% due to the collaborative interest shown by stakeholders.
- Capacity of 35 NGO staffs built to support animators at the Community level with 19 female (representing 54.29% against 30% required) in attendance.
- 7 LGA Multi-Stakeholders Coordination Platforms established and functional (100% achieved).
- Processes of codifying local Bye-laws and production of sustainable bye-laws ongoing,
- Establishment of Communal land agroforestry entrepreneurship Initiatives with effective sustainable management plan ongoing and receiving full support from farmers and stakeholders.
- 14 private nursery owners (PNO) provided 19 (required: 12) assorted species of seedlings which are constantly demanded by farmers in the intervening LGAs
- Private Nursery owners empowered with Start-Up capital and had commenced generating cashflows from tree products
- Overall, planting of 2,237,223 trees (representing 68% of 5.5m trees) achieved through FMNR and seedlings raised from Nursery activities
- Five (5) different stove designs/models developed and user acceptability tests conducted with beneficiaries
- 280 Starter tools distributed to trained porters.
- 255 entrepreneurs trained on stoves production, stoves marketing and dissemination through value-chain FWR initiatives supported by 3 MicroFinance Banks collaborating with the Project.
- Over 3,089 stoves (with 65% fuel wood consumption saving capacity) produced and 2,150 marketed/disseminated.
- Various Publications shared with stakeholders and core professionals include: 2 Baseline survey reports, 1 Inception Report, 1 Project Implementation Manual, 2 Interim Narrative reports, 2 Model Financial Reports, Calendars, Newsletters and 1 Set of Model LGA Bye-laws.
In conclusion, Dr Chris appreciated the EU (as a leading international donor) for intervening and still willing to invest in the region and pledged to ensure that the Project deliver its target results.
Participating stakeholders happily acknowledged the progress made by the Project in the benefiting LGAs and Communities in the past two years and encouraged the PMUs’ teams to count on the support of the Government of Katsina State and stakeholders at all levels.
Suggestions, questions and contributions were also received from participants on ways to effectively deliver the target results within the Project time frame. Some of the contributions made include harmonizing the production processes and prices of stoves; increase advocacy on Project activities, strengthening stove marketing and dissemination mechanisms, commencement of annual Nursery activities on time and convening regular stakeholders meetings across the benefiting LGAs.
After concluding the Seminar, representative of the Hon Minister of Budget and National Planning, Project Coordinator Lot 2/representative of OXFAM Country Director and other stakeholders embarked on sites inspection of facilities at the following LGAs – Batsari and Jibia in Lot 1 and Mashi and Dutsi in Lot 2.
At the exit meeting on the second day of the field visit, the representative of Hon Minister observed that:
- FMNR and the Nursery trees planted were growing faster and looking good but that farmers would need to be given more encouragements to sustain their interests.
- Going forward, FMNR activities or outright trees planting through Nursery systems require more aggressive attention by the two Lots
- The Multi-purpose Training Centers, particularly the one established at Machinawa in Dutsi LGA for the production of stoves and the activities of potters were plausible and reassuring.
- The stoves produced in Kwararen Fulani by Lot 1 should go through the testing process.
- She stressed the need for regular collaboration and exchange visits among stakeholders and between the two Lots to ensure that the 12 LGAs benefit evenly from the Project.
Finally, her concluding remark confirmed convincingly that the Project is on track with impressive progresses; and affirmed that with strong determination, more successes would be achieved in subsequent years.