The Improving the Fuel Wood Balance (FuWoBa) in 12 LGAs in Katsina State implemented by Umaru Musa Yar Adua University for Renewable Energy (ISSCeRER) (Lot 1 in 5 LGAs) and OXFAM/ICEED (Lot 2 in 7 LGAs) jointly reviewed its third-year activities on 14th November, 2017 at the Conference Hall of Katsina State Secretariat.
The Project which is part of the EU-funded Energizing Access Sustainable Energy (EASE) Programme commenced activities on September 9, 2014 and had achieved numerous milestones on target results amidst some challenges that warranted sharing with stakeholders and beneficiaries.
In his welcome address at the occasion, the representative of OXFAM, Mr. Ikenna Nzewi, welcomed and thanked everyone for the support given to the project since its inception in 2014 and solicited for sustainability even after closure on September 8, 2018. Similarly, the Vice Chancellor of Umaru Yar Adua University, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Admin), acknowledged the support of the Katsina State Government, related Ministries and the parastatals collaborating with the project. The Vice Chancellor also appreciated Heads of Local Government Administration of the respective LGAs, the Emirs of Katsina and Daura and their District/village Heads for the kind support given in the implementation of project activities at their various LGAs.
The representatives of Honourable Commissioners of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Justice ministries also made their remarks appreciating the European Union and the National Authorizing Officer for choosing the State for the Project. They also commended the Implementing Units of the two Lots for the progress made within the three years.
The Guest of Honour, His Excellency, Deputy Governor of Katsina State represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources expressed the love shown by Executive Governor to the energy sustainability project; adding that His Excellency had promised continuous support for the Project even after its proposed official closure.
Earlier on, the representative of the Commissioner of Environment in his address informed participants that the State Government had graciously approved 59m naira for the production and dissemination of 34,000 stoves to beneficiaries in the 34 LGAs in the State. He called on the beneficiaries to take seriously the trainings and capacity building activities given to them by the Project.
In the same vein, the Senior Councilor of Katsina Emirate Council appreciated the project and acknowledged that the European Union had previously assisted the State in the EEC Project – the legacy still being remembered; while the representative of the Emir of Daura expressed his esteemed appreciation to EU asserting that the Project had touched the life of beneficiaries more than any other Project implemented in the State. He used the opportunity to appreciate the awards given to the 32 committed and outstanding beneficiaries in the 12 LGAs.
On milestones achieved by the two Lots, the Project Manager of Lot 1, Dr Abdullahi Mati reported that 25 CBOs with 500 youths and women actively involved. 15,000 farmers were registered out of which 8,000 have been trained on various agroforestry models. He further reported that 306 nurseries were established from where 3.6 million seedlings were produced and planted in 75,000 farms on 48,000 ha of land. In addition,10 Stoves production centers were established and a total of 405 porters trained on stove production from inception of project. He concluded that the project had drafted an operational guide and code of practice for commercial wood sellers as well as regulated harvest of fuel wood.
On the part of Lot 2, the Project Manager, Dr Chris Udokang enumerated the major milestones achieved by the Project as at September 8, 2017. He informed participants that achievements made were reported based on the three (3) Specific Objectives outlined in the approved Logical Framework. In summary, the Project Manager reported:
- Objective 1: Target value of 5.5 million trees planted/maintained:
- 3,098,344 trees achieved through trees regeneration and 1,440,385 through nursery approach. Overall, 4,544,349 (ie 82.62%) trees planted/maintained. This was achieved through the establishment of 7 Community Nurseries and 7 successful boreholes in the 7 LGAs; and support received from 14 Private Nursery owners trained and granted with Start-up Capital by the Project.
- Objective 2: Target value of 55,000 HHs engaged in trees Regeneration on other Agroforestry models on 160,000 ha of land involving 275,000 direct beneficiaries:
- 41,248 HHs with 96, 872.12 ha and 283,077 direct beneficiaries representing 60.67%, 75% and 102.94% of target values respectively achieved.
- Objective 3: Production and dissemination of 35,000 mud-efficient Clean cookstoves for beneficiaries in the 7 LGAs
22,313 stoves produced and 9,886 disseminated representing 63.75% and 28.25% respectively.
In addition, he mentioned that 700 CBOs were trained on Agroforestry, financial, procurement and logistics management while 35 staff of NGOs, 485 animators and 125 entrepreneurs had been trained on agroforestry and stoves production value chain activities. He concluded by listing the direct impact of the Project in the areas of acceptability and ownership, poverty eradication, positive influences, improvement of quality of life, sustainable inclusive growth, environmental security and climate change amongst others thus affirming that the project will meet its target objectives by project end.