26 January 2013

Nigeria: Lead Poisoning - Jonathan Hailed for Fund Release

Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the release of fund for the remediation of the area affected by lead poisoning in Bagega, Zamfara State.

The President's gesture was a climax of the campaign by the Save Bagega group, which has put pressure on relevant authority to prevent further deaths in the affected areas through remediation before the rainy season set in.

Saraki who visited the Bagega Community where he reviewed how best to enable relevant agencies deal with the environmental challenge posed by lead poisoning which is currently ravaging Bagega village, said "the release of funds from the Federal Government for the environmental cleanup in Bagega is great news for the local community as well as for the thousands of people who added their voice to the campaign."

The campaign to Save Bagega has been growing over recent weeks, and

Senator Saraki's has led calls from the Senate to the Federal Government for a swift remediation of the situation after his Committee received a brief from NGO Medicin Sans Frontiere (Doctors Without Borders) on the need to take immediate action to avert the further deaths of children.

Their report suggested that over 400 children had died already as a result of lead poisoning and another 1,500 were at risk of death, due to the environmental damage as a result of poor mining processes.

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