Hard View-Dispensable Lives By Hannatu Musawa

Hannatu Musawa
Columnist: 
Hannatu Musawa

Mother Nature could be beautiful, kind and nurturing, but she also has her dark moments. Floods, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones are all natural disasters that have the gargantuan capacity to destroy communities and indeed cities. The biggest most recent natural disaster was the Haiti earthquake in 2010 where an estimated 316,000 people were killed by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake and a minimum of 52 aftershocks. As devastating as these events were, they were not preventable because they happened naturally.

But when disasters are caused by man, it is inexcusable. Mankind has frequently created catastrophes that have devastated the immediate environment and taken countless innocent lives. The effects of chemical or radioactive spills are especially horrific to a person’s physical and mental state of health. The adverse effects resulting from chemicals are known to evoke a wide spectrum of biological responses in people, depending upon the extent of their exposure and its potential to interact with the person’s anatomical structures and physiological functions. These effects could finally result in clusters of disease or instantaneous death.

That is why when I shockingly learnt of the alleged dumping of harmful waste by the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KPRC), the NNPC subsidiary in Rido community of Chikun LGA, Kaduna State, I was appalled. The community of Rido is about half a kilometre from KRPC with an estimated 30,000 people residing there. But between June 10 and 14, 2012, a powdery, dusty substance was dumped by contractors that were hired by the KRPC.

Almost immediately, two human deaths were reported with a high death toll of dogs and chickens within the vicinity. At least six more deaths were reported within two weeks of this alleged callous crime; many children were admitted into the community’s only hospital and clinic. Many villagers experienced respiratory tract problems, as the fumes they inhaled were toxic and caused incessant, severe coughing. Even though children and animals alike had gone to the waste dump to pick wood and other things, those that did not go near the dump site experienced severe symptoms as the wind blew the powdery substance to nearby distances. The village head, nurses that work in the community and eyewitnesses have clarified the above facts.

The proprietor of Biams Integrated Farms, a farm located 500m from the vicinity of the waste dump, recorded the loss of 700 chickens in less than three hours, within four days of the waste’s dumping on their poultry farm. Staff employed at the farm complained of headaches and bloated stomachs.

Justifiably, the matter is now in court and it would be inexcusable for the legal system not to take this matter with the seriousness it deserves. KINGS (Kaduna Integrity Groups), an NGO, has on behalf of the Rido community taken the matter up in court and a legal battle has been in the works since last year. Abdullahi Umar Ladan, leader of KINGS, has repeatedly called on the relevant authorities to come to the aid of the people in Rido Community by avoiding another illegal dumping of any toxic waste.

A veterinary doctor of Biams Integrated Farms, Abdul Ganiyu, spoke about the high mortality rate experienced with poultry on the farm. He also described some of the symptoms experienced by villagers, who described the smell of the waste as “having a tear-gas effect”. The victims spoke about taking painful breaths from the fumes of the waste.

Despite the fact that the waste has long been evacuated, residents of the community are still suffering from the effects of this traumatic event. The KEPA (Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency) has also confirmed that industrial waste was dumped in Rido community when KRPC refurbished some of its facilities. KEPA had informed KRPC that any waste to be dumped has to be done only with official clearance from KEPA, as industrial waste is a specialised waste and there are usually specific sites where these are dumped -- far away from community settlements. There have been futile promises by the affected government agencies to look fully into the matter but, till date, no impactful action has been taken on behalf of the people of this longsuffering community. The KRPC has continuously denied any misappropriate action taken by them, claiming that any dumping of waste was conducted by contractors. If indeed toxic waste was dumped by KRPC, then there need to be accountability by the organisation as well as adequate compensation for the victims.

Whatever the facts, a chemical incident has resulted as an unexpected, uncontrolled release of a chemical from its containment. The WHO defines a public- health incident as “where two or more members of the public are exposed (or threatened to be exposed) to a chemical.” In a majority of cases, it’s an acute release where the exposure and dose do not rise quickly and public health measures are not taken so promptly, even though the public- health concern can emerge suddenly and acutely. Chemicals enter our body through the eyes, skin, lung or digestive tract. The rate varies from different chemicals and the concentration of a chemical as well as length of time of exposure can have varying but ultimately damaging effects.

So how do we protect our people and environment from exposure to these chemical disasters? The federal government should set up procedures and organisations to ensure that the public- health management of any chemical incident is effective and comprehensive. In the case of the Rido community, it is apparent that the safety measures put in place were not adequate enough to protect them. At the local level, public- health authorities need to identify situations where chemical incidents could occur and assess the likely risks to exposed people, property and the environment. There should be facilities for emergency plan development and implementation. This means well- stocked pharmacies within a clinic, functional ambulances and highly trained staff attached to the clinics.

Vulnerability assessment, also known as community risk assessment (CRA) in the field of chemical incident management, is an assessment of the potential effects of a chemical incident in the local area. This is composed of four major steps: identification of hazardous chemical sites, identification of possible incident scenarios and exposure paths, identification of vulnerable populations, facilities and environments, and lastly estimation of health impact of potential chemical incidents and the requirements for health-care facilities sensitised on the dangers of such. There should also be proper monitoring of vulnerable areas with emergency phone lines available in preparation for any chemical incident.

In April 2010, a Maesrk Line vessel, “MV Nashville” was apprehended by the Nigerian Ports Authority. It was filled with toxic waste. In June 2010, a ship, “MV Gumel”, was detained in Lagos with several containers of toxic waste. Similarly, in 1988, radioactive waste was dumped in Koko, Delta State. The list seems endless. Ironically, in all these cases, the federal government sought substantial compensation for these crimes. There should not be double standard in how the crime of toxic waste dumping is investigated.

Since it is proven that chemical waste has a long-lasting impact on our society and environment, all potential victims are entitled to compensation. Sadly, there can be no compensation for those innocent adults and children that lost their lives in 2012 in Rido community. A community’s basic right to coexist in peace and lead happy, healthy and productive lives has forever been blemished by the incident of chemical waste dump.

No matter how powerful or influential an organisation is, no one has the right to play God with innocent people’s lives. And if that unfortunate gamble is indeed taken, then, the culprits should be ready to not only face the wrath of God himself but be accountable to the proper authorities within the confines of our judicial system.
 

Hannatu Musawa
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Comments
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Why Should She Fight for your Rights?

Your negative reactions show that Hannatu is doing her work very well by using her brain and beauty to affect & expose you in a way she doesnt give you an opportunity to affect her.
Kudos to Hannatu and Shame on bigot, racist, southern-trash trolls.
RESULT: 1,000,000-Hannatu, 0-Southern Trolls.

VERY, VERY PROUD OF MY SISTER.
PLEASE KEEP RUBBING SALT ON THOSE THEIR SOUTHERN WOUNDS MY BEAUTIFUL, SMART FULANI SISTER

Why Should She Fight for your Rights?

It amazing that people are bashing Hannatu for not speaking for the enviromental issues of the South South. Why should she fight for your rigths and speak for any Southerner? You people have made it clear that you are different to her. Maybe she feels the same way about your drunk nyansh! Im glad she is speaking only for her people. Why dont you get some of your ashawos to speak up for you?
I dont know if she does read the comments but I have read some of her other postings on her blog and on twitter and she doesnt seem to give a damn about what anybody has to say about her. She is always positive in her messages so it seems all you bigots and trolls have to say are for your own amusement only.

Well said

I really appreciate ur effort. To those delusional people slaying the writer you all should get a life and wake up from ur slumbers.

Plagiarism!

A lawyer who thought she could practice plagiarism and get away with it. They said she does not read comments but I hope her friends do, so that she can be told off. Silly billy! Yeyenatu! Madam Foolani.

WHY DID BUHARI KILL

WHY DID BUHARI KILL KENSAROWIWA--WAS BUHARI NOT WITH ABACHA WHEN HE WAS HANGED MADAM HANATU--AGAIN DO YOU KNOW THE DANAGE DONE TO THE OIL PRODUCING ZONES OF THE COUNTRY BY YOUR FULANI LEADERS

no comment on this one hannatu

Unknown gunmen last night in Kaduna State attacked a government-owned secondary school in a community near the troubled town of Zonkwa, in Zangon Kataf Local Government area.

A security operative who confirmed this to SaharaReporters gave the name of the school as GSS Fadan Kaje. The gunmen started shooting sporadically upon arrival, the source said, as they advanced towards one of the hostels, resulting in many confused students, and hundreds of them trying to flee to safety. Nobody was reported to have been killed, and armed soldiers, on arriving at the scene, chased into the bush after the escaping gunmen. It would be recalled that last weekend, six persons were killed in the area by unknown assailants. Many of the victims who were injured in the attack are still receiving medical attention.

@Okokobioko, Thanks for

@Okokobioko, Thanks for telling her what she has always been yearning to hear-let her confine her fulani thoughts to her brothers in boko haram--those doing the killings in boko haram are not gwaris-they are fulanis from the same tribe with buhari.

Hannatu devote .........

Hannatu devote much of your time educating the women, in islamic north of nigeria about the evils of genital mutilation than to be preaching of ecological diaster when you are not an environmentalist.Ken Saro Wiwa was hanged by your follow fulani descent because he was an out spoken critics about environment.

need some tissue?

that´s what happens when you insist on having what is not yours. Photoshop hannatu don´t now come again cap in hand begging for funds to clean up. No the enviroments of the oil producing areas must and will be cleaned first.

Hannatu,POLLUTION RENDERS MILLIONS HOMELESS IN OIL DELTA

Pollution from oil exploration and exploitation has so far left homeless millions of people in the oil and gas producing areas in the south. Your kinsmen like the Danjumas own oil blocks here but spread charity works all over Nigeria except in the southsouth and southeast.
Leaders from your north never cared a hoot all the decades they presided over oil revenues while people in the south where the oil is produced were wallowing in abject poverty, living in polluted shanties while your kinsmen funneled oil money to north through the myriad states created there; they were also building Abuja at a maddening rate at the same time. Take an aerial view of Nigeria today, compare it with an aerial view before state creation started, observe that the north has developed tremendously more than the south. Small pollution Hannatu writes about.

Foolish Udam

@Udam, it's obvious you are a big FOOL. Just count the number of the word in your write-up. Ash brain!!!

Dr. Damages Hannatu

Attention Ms Hannatu,
I doubt if this reaction will be published by this widely read internet publication. To some of us following the events in Africa especially in Nigeria, it is sad to see the dearth of corruption in that well endowed Nation.From plagiarism to financial misappropriation to youth exuberance, it is high time this factors of societal degeneration are corrected. For the next publication of your, please Hannatu, Plagiarism is the "wrongful appropriation" and "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work. Please stop it!

Plagiarism Detected... Be Careful Hannatu !!

Hannatu stop this plagiarism "Vulnerability assessment, also known as community risk assessment (CRA) in the field of chemical incident management, is an assessment of the potential effects of a chemical incident in the local area. This is composed of four major steps:.."
Source:http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/emergencies/em2002chap12.pdf
Ref:page 177 12.3.2 Vulnerability assessment.

Hannatu please stop this Plagiarism

Hannatu please stop this Plagiarism "Since it is proven that chemical waste has a long-lasting impact on our society and environment, all potential victims are entitled to compensation".
Sources:Methods for Assessing and Reducing Injury from Chemical Accidents
Edited by Philippe Bourdeau and Gareth Green
@ 1989 SCOPE. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
8 Biological Effects of Chemical Disasters: Human Victims By:C.R. Krishna Mufti
Source: http://www.pdfio.com/k-2779838.html#
A word is enough for the wise!

Cry Not, Ms. Hannatu--Hausa/fool-anis Shoved It On SS And SE

The injustice that fool-ani Hannatu is crying now was exactly what the good people of SS and SE regio
had endured over the years of oil exploration and environmental pollution of the Niger Delta region by the fool-anis. Recall that the evil fool-ani Abacha murdered the Honorable renowned world environmentalist, Ken Saro Wiwa for protesting the environmental degradation and pollution of the Niger Delta regions of the SS and SE. So, fool-ani Hannatu, take your medicine like a man and stop disturbing our peace.

May God continue to guide and protect Gov. Jang for his continued effort to fight off the incursion of Hausa/fool-anis who continues to constitute nuisance to the good indigeneous people of Plateau state.

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