Group urge FG to release N850 million fund for Zamfara’s lead poisoning

Channels Television  
Updated May 11, 2012

Humanitarian aid group, Doctors without Borders has urged the federal government to release the N850 million allocated for intervention in the lead poisoning crisis in Zamfara state.

This group claim is urgent and essential to save thousands of children at risk in the state.

The demand was made at a news conference after a two day discussion on how to salvage the lead poisoning crisis in the state, which has claimed the lives of over 400 children since 2010 and left over 2000 others at the risk.

The children were poisoned by dust released by gold miners breaking open rocks near their homes.

The provision of fund is part of the actionable plans and resolution made at a gathering aimed at cleaning up affected communities in the state and treat children who have been poisoned in the contaminated environment.

The group said there has been so much talk about funding without action, considering that the N850 million ecological fund, budgeted since November 2011 is yet to be released for the clean-up.

Health and humanitarian experts noted the prevailing alarm in the state, where the environment is still in need of cleaning and many children lives are still at risk.

They complained that funds set aside for intervention in Zamfara are yet to be released, over five months after approval by the authorities.

The main concerns for which these aid workers are determined to develop an action plan for today are environmental remediation , medication and treatment of lead poisoned children and charting a course for safe mining to eliminate recontamination of the environ.

These humanitarian and health experts believe that prohibiting mining in Zamfara state is not a solution as it would only bring more disaster.

They argue that the indigenes will explore their natural resources in secret and hide away the ailing children thereby causing more death and intense contamination of the environment