Lead Poisoning Alert:Children Are Dying In Shikira Community, FG Please Help - COLLETTE NATURE BLOG (CNB) Lead Poisoning Alert:Children Are Dying In Shikira Community, FG Please Help | COLLETTE NATURE BLOG (CNB) http://go.ad2upapp.com/afu.php?id=1182571





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Monday, 27 June 2016

Lead Poisoning Alert:Children Are Dying In Shikira Community, FG Please Help


Over 28 children in Shikira community, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, has died from Lead poisoning and over 300 are believed to have high level of Lead in their blood!

At first, the medical reason was not known. One child after another, all under three years of age, developed the same symptoms: had high fever, were restless, cried excessively, convulsed, and then died.

There was panic and fear in the three neighbouring communities, until David Umaru, the senatorial candidate of the APC in the March 28 National Assembly election, arrived on a vote-seeking campaign. There he learnt of the strange deaths and called in federal intervention, which brought Dr. Sani Gwarzo, from the Federal Ministry of Health, to the community to investigate the deaths. Dr Gwarzo's interim clinical diagnosis of the probable cause of death: lead poisoning. That diagnosis was later confirmed by other health authorities.
Illegal Mining activities have been going on in Shikira communities for over four years. Here and there, there are shallow pits and furrows, where small gold-bearing stones, called quartz, were extracted and then abandoned when they no longer yielded the gem stones. And then the gold prospectors moved on to new minefields, which abound in the area.

A group, CODE, which said it has been following this development, stated that the children need urgent medical treatment and wondered when the remediation of the community would begin.
Chief Executive, CODE, Hamzat Lawal said, “We are highly shocked over the Federal Government’s inability to announce a specific date when remediation of Shikira will commence, one year after the lead contamination that ravened the small rural mining community located in Rafi LGA in Niger State. “And this is even more worrisome considering the fact that the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed recently visited the area and declared it a national disaster.”

Meanwhile, last month, the senate called on the federal government to urgently treat all cases of Lead poisoning, remediate the environment and promote safer mining programmes for artisanal miners. This preceded a motion on the urgent Remediation of Lead Poisoning in Shikira Community of Niger State, sponsored by Senator David Umaru in unison by all the senators of the 8th Assembly.
Please the Federal government need to act as fast as possible to stop this menace, this community (and others alike)urgently need help and I mean help in emergency healthcare response, clean up of the entire community, education and monitoring and not just monetary assistance.


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