Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FCTA seeks to end encroachment on forest reserves

The Federal Capital Territory Administration said it is determined to resolve issues of incessant land encroachment threatening forest reserves across the territory.

Director forestry, Agriculture and Rural Development secretariat, Mrs. Caroline Opara, said the administration will be collaborating with natives to preserve the reserve areas and ensure their continued existence.

Speaking at a meeting with Bwari natives to resolve the issue of encroachment on the forest land and illegal cutting down of the trees, Opara appealed to natives to see the forest as an initiative that would improve their well-being.

She said the teak plantation in Kogo area of Bwari was one of the FCT Administration's plans to curb erosion and flooding as well as pave well for tourist activities that could boost development in the own.

According to her, the forest would also help in addressing climate Change global warming.

The director recall that the forest was set up by the ARDS in 2004, but in 2015 the sign post was removed without the consent of the government, with most of the teak trees removed, with a new sign post mounted 'Bwaya Community land.

She urged the Esu Bwari to prevail on his followers to stop the encroachment and take appropriate measures in channelling their grievances to the government.

Caroline, who said dialogue remains key to rapid development, assured the people that FCT Administration listens to residents and would not treat Bwari natives as an exception.

On his part, the Esu Bwari, HRH Ibrahim Yaro pledged his commitment to work with government at all times to bring development to the area.

He explained that there was no plan to sabotage government initiatives to better the living condition of his people, but said there should always be due process in carrying out programmes and policies that have direct bearing on the people.

Yaro promised to hold a meeting with the youth and other palace members on the best way to resolve the matter within a short time, and invite the officials of the ARDS for final resolution.

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