This Day (Lagos)

14 January 2013

Nigeria: Saraki Flays Impact of Lead Poisoning On Zamfara Community

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, at the weekend, urged the Federal Government to come to the aid of the people of Badega community in Zamfara State, who have been suffering the impact of lead poisoning on the community.

Saraki in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Advocacy, Mr. Bamikola Omisore, said the gesture would go a long way in returning life to the people of the area, who have been affected by the impact of lead poisoning.

According to him, "it is crucial to know that there is urgent need to restore and remediate the environment in view of the damage that lead poisoning had done to the affected community in Zamfara State."

Speaking further, Saraki said his committee had been working round the clock to ensure that the situation was was nipped in the bud.

The former governor noted that, "by the time the Federal Government rises to this ugly situation, it would aid the reversal of the gains so far achieved in detoxifying and remediating other villages in Badega. The village remains highly contaminated since the discovery of lead poisoning crisis in Zamfara State in 2010."

"We have very limited time to remediate the area, since remediation normally takes between four to five months to be completed and we must act now to save the lives of our children trapped in this contaminated zone of Zamfara State.

"From the clock watch, this remediation was scheduled to start in late November 2011 and over a year later has not begun. If the remediation does not start this month (January 2013), it will be nearly impossible to complete the work before the rainy season," he stressed

The statement, therefore, said: "Much of the effort will be wasted due to cross contamination and medical treatment cannot be effective, leaving up to 1,500 poisoned children without the needed care, remediation takes time and could only be done during the dry season."

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