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Why Kano Govt Should Support Upgrading Falgore Game Reserve to National Park



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It became imperative to write and draw the attention of His Excellency the Executive Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf on the immense and unquantifiable benefits Kano State and its residents stand to gain if the 920 square kilometer Falgore Game Reserve is handed over to the National Park Service — a Federal agency that oversees the affairs of parks and game reserves designated as ‘national,’ — and the disadvantages and negative effects of refusing to do so.

The upliftment of Falgore Reserve from state-owned to National Park will undoubtedly be a thing that would call for a celebration due to the positive impacts the wildlife and tourism sector would witness.

Some of the benefits Kano state and its residents would reap as a result of this welcoming development include, but not limited to, the following:

*Job Opportunity –* .The taking over of Falgore Game Reserve by the federal government would serve as an opener for job opportunity to indigenes of the state at the NPS. The existing staff of the game reserve will be automatically absorbed by the NPS, and other Kano indigenes would subsquently be employed in the future.

It is important, however, to mention that, throughout the entire history of NPS and despite its important position as a paramilitary agency, there is no single person from Kano state who is working there!

*Better Funding –* If Falgore Game Reserve is handed over to National Park Service it will undoubtedly be financially better off. It is a known fact that national parks globally enjoy better funding from international organizations, individual donors, philanthropists and other non-governmental organisations in addition to that of the federal government.

*Better Equipped –* One of the most important benefits of this proposed hand over is that the game rangers will be provided with modern gadgets and equipment that are necessary for day-to-day operations. Such equipment and gears include fully-kitted uniforms, patrol vans and motorcycles, fire arms and ammunitions, communication gadgets such as computers, walkie-talkies, and so on.

*Safeguarding Irrigation System –* River Kano, which traced its tributaries to Falgore forest, is the source of Tiga Dam. And this dam is the source of water used for irrigation farming in some parts of Kano south. If the forest is destroyed, the River Kano would dry up. If the river dries, Tiga Dam will dry too. If the dam dries, no irrigation farming in the area.

Alternatively, after the hand over, the NPS will safeguard the reserve through established measures and laws governing deforestation.

*Improved Security –* Enough manpower, equipment and resources would surely go in a long way to deter criminals from hiding in the Reserve. Thus, the transformations Falgore will witnessed at the hand of NPS would make the it impossible for criminals to continue staying there.

*Enhancing Wildlife Conservation and Biodiversity Preservation –* With adequate funding, better equipment, both the fauna and flora would be conserved and preserved. The NPS would deploy intensive measures to tackle poaching, that, over the years, resulted into either killing wild animals in the reserve or made them to flee to the neighbouring Lamme Burra Game Reserve in Bauchi state — a situation which is far beyond state government to handle.

*Boosting Tourism –* A secured game reserve with basic amenities, and full of different variety of species of plants and animals is a promising tourism attraction.

*Incessant Deforestation*
It is sad to note that the continuous deforestation at Falgore which was started for many years have resulted in the total extinction of major economic tress such as ptericarpus erinaceus commonly known as madrid (madobiya), afzelia Africana, commonly known as African mahogany (kawo).

Other species of trees including anogeissus leiorcarpa commonly known as African birch (marke), deuterium microcarpum commonly known as sweet deter (taura), isoberlinia (doka), boswellia dalzeilli (ararrabi), and bombax costatum commonly known as red kapok (gurjiya) are now endangered species as they are excessively cut down on daily basis by wood loggers and charcoal makers.

Unfortunately the personnel at the reserve cannot even dare to engage the culprits without the reinforcement from the military because the loggers are mostly heavily armed with den guns and other dangerous locally-made weapons. And they came from all over northwest region, especially Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto and Bauchi states.

Conclusively, it is worthy to emphasize here that, as a vast area of land that is managed in order to conserve wildlife, Falgore Game Reserve deserves adequate attention due its importance to the lives of both humans and animals alike. And no doubt, the game reserve would get the proper attention it needs from the NPS.

The utmost support and cooperation from Kano State government to the National Park Service in facilitating the smooth take over of the reserve is of utmost importance, and it is, undoubtedly, a right step in the right direction.

This is a clarion call to Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, being a patriotic citizen who cherishes the state dearly, to do the needful. A stitch on time, they say, saves nine.

Kano State Concerned Citizens Forum (KSCCF)

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