Clears Way for Life-saving Treatment for 1,500 Children
“President Jonathan’s decision to release the cleanup funds could be life-saving for countless children,” said Jane Cohen, health researcher at Human Rights Watch. “After years of living in contaminated homes, children will now be able to live and play without risking their lives.”
The lead-affected villages are located in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara, a region where artisanal gold mining is an important source of livelihood. High levels of lead in the rock ore, combined with traditional, labor-intensive mining practices have caused widespread lead poisoning, especially among children. According to official estimates, more than 400 children have died from lead poisoning in Nigeria, and more than 1,500 have elevated lead levels and are at risk of long-term disability and death.