Zamfara: Lead Poison Kills 400 Kids


Pound Contaminated With Lead In Zamfara

An outbreak of lead poisoning in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara has killed at least 400 children under the age of five over the past six months.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said over 400 kids have died and 500 persons admitted in hospitals in Zamfara State following an outbreak of lead poisoning.

Authorities say the poisoning is believed to be related to gold mining operations in the region.

Reports say the quantities of lead released into the soil are large enough to kill children and cause deafness, blindness, brain damage and muscular problems.

All mining activities have been banned in the region.{googleAds}
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While officials say the total number of affected people could go well beyond 30,000, local authorities claim to have the situation under control.

The Director-General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi made this known in a keynote address at the National Workshop on the mitigation of the risk of lead poisoning associated with gold mining and processing among rural communities.

He said: "The immature body system of children exposed to contaminated soils and gold processing tools tends to rapidly absorb associated lead and in the process poisoning then leading to convulsion, paralysis and even death."

Sani-Sidi called for an effective environmental management, land use planning and strict compliance to occupational safety and industrial regulations as the society exploits its naturally occurring resources to sustain livelihood.

Experts and stakeholders accused gold miners and processors for being responsible for lead poisoning in some northern states by using materials and chemicals that were banned or controlled.

They said wastes generated from the processing of gold were not properly disposed or managed by the illegal miners.
Source: thenationonlineng.com

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