KOSiL – KICKOUT SIDDON LOOK is very concerned about reports of lead poisoning of children in Zamfara state. A BBC News report monitored on the 21st of April 2013 claims that over 460 children have so far died as a result of lead poisoning from gold mining in the area since 2009 with many others suffering different forms of long term and serious medical conditions. Some of these conditions include paralysis, deafness, and brain damage.
KOSiL applauds efforts being made by Médecins Sans Frontières in the provision of medical treatment for affected children. We applaud efforts by the villagers themselves to clean up the environment of lead poisoning in order to reduce the rate of infection in children and others in the areas.
KOSiL is however concerned about the seeming lackadaisical attitude of both the state and Federal Ministries of Health to the provision of medical care for affected children. We are horrified that so many children have perished from this preventable but hazardous condition without any serious efforts on the part of the government to protect children and others from the effects of lead poisoning in the area, which BBC estimates to be the highest anywhere in the world.
KOSiL condemns the insensitive excuse by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Mohammad Ali Pate, that this is a man-made disaster when government has done nothing to ban illegal mining in the area. We call on the government to prioritize the provision of necessary resources to help meet the emergency medical treatment of affected children, train medical staff, and clean up the villages affected to minimize the impact of lead particles in the environment.
We also call on the government to urgently ensure the end of illegal mining in order to protect lives. Awareness campaigns should be vigorously pursued and alternative employment opportunities should be provided to the villagers in order to dissuade them from this hazardous activity.
Notes to Editors
1. KickOut Siddon Look” is a political movement devoted to mobilizing grassroots support for capable leaders to emerge and lead Nigeria in 2015.
2. The primary objective of KickOut Siddon Look are to:
• Sensitize the masses ahead of the 2015 presidential election to the critical need to coalesce behind new types of leaders capable of improving the standard of living and the quality of life of the Nigerian people and laying a solid foundation for the future of the nation;
• Sensitize Nigerians to the deliberate landmines planted in the nation’s constitutional framework and ancillary laws that have made the attainment of good governance and true democracy near impossible tasks;
• Sensitize Nigerians to the need (and their right) to be more engaged in the political processes, not as an audience, but as the most important stakeholders whose decisions must count at the time when flag-bearers are being selected to the time when they would be subjected to public votes on election day;
• Mobilize our brothers and sisters, our parents and friends across ethnic, social and political lines to accept, and support, a candidate that fits the earlier stated profile as the new leader of the government of Nigeria; and
• Educate, and empower, our people – ahead of the 2015 general elections – to make a choice between having the choice(s) of selfish individuals imposed on them and ratified by a few of us in sham elections AND support for a candidate who has a history of standing on the side of the masses, has a proven track record of achievement and, also importantly, scores high on the 3 Es and I (namely Education, Exposure, Experience and Integrity).
1. For further information about KickOut Siddon Look and to join us, visit our website at www.kickoutsiddonlook.org
2. For media interviews please contact Tunde Fagbenle via [email protected] or [email protected]
3. BBC news article: Nigerian Children Suffering in Lead Poisoning Crisis can be downloaded at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22128957