Nigeria: Lead Poisoning – Niger Goes Tough On Illegal Mining

In view of the lead poison that devastated Shakira and Anguwan Kawo village in Rafi local government area of Niger State, the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has warned against illegal mining in the state. He however revealed that collaborations are on to standardize mining in the state.

The governor who spoke at the palace of Emir of Kalgara, Alhaji Saliu, warned those engaging in illegal mining to desist from further degradation of the environment.

He expressed concern over illegal mining in the villages of the emirate where many lives mostly minors were lost recently to lead poison from illegal mining of gold by the locals.

“It is high time our people desist from engaging in illegal mining, its devastating effect on their health, environment and economy is un-quantifiable. The irony of this activity is that our people are being exploited, abused and at the end many lives are put on the line due to health hazards associated with mining and at the long run our human capital is being depleted and our environment exposed to danger”. According to the governor, “Our people must stop this killing. Government will not close its eyes for her citizens to engage in self destructive venture or fold her arms to activities that are inimical to the health and well being of her people”.

He said efforts are on to standardize mining activities in the state in collaboration with the federal government so that miners and environment are protected and proceed from exploitation are well coordinated.

“The exploitation of our people is unacceptable. They are not only exposing the whole community to danger, they are being paid pittance. That is why we are appealing to our people to exercise patience for government to fine tune operation in the sector”, he stated.

He called on stakeholders within and outside the state to join hands with the administration towards ending illegal mining in the state. He said, “We want stakeholders to join hands with us in combating this menace. Community leaders must intensify sensitization on the negative impact of illegal mining on the people and environment.”

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