Zamfara State government said it has taken some stringent measures to address the multiple health issues associated with lead poisoning in the state.
This was disclosed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Kabiru Balarebe at the opening of a 3 – Day workshop to develop action plan for the control and prevention of lead poisoning associated with artisanal gold mining in the state.
According to him, lead poisoning was discovered by Medicines Sans Frontiers during routine immunization exercise in some mining villages of the southwest of Zamfara State in 2010.
“It was reported to be one of the worst of its kinds in human history where over 700 children died of the disaster,” he added.
“The disaster brought gold mining in Zamfara state to global spotlight, particularly artisanal mining which is the dominant mining activities in many communities”
The Secretary to the State Government said that the state government has taken necessary steps to prevent the reoccurrence of the painful experience of 2010, notably organizing the artisanal miners into mining cooperatives as a step towards the formalization of their activities.
“This is in line with the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act 2007 and the mining Regulations of 2011.”
“Though mining activities have been suspended by the federal government for security reasons, it is our belief that by the time the program resumes, the artisanal miners that have not joined any cooperative will do so.”
The state government scribe said that the government of Hon. Bello Mohammed Matawalle is committed to maximizing the state’s potentials in the mining sector through the invitation of investment into the mining sector to promote safer mining among artisanal miners.