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Lead Poisoning: Over 1,500 Residents Evacuated in Niger

At least 1,500 residents of Assara village in Rafi Local Government area of Niger State have been evacuated from their homes after the death of 28 children from lead poisoning.

The state also shut down the illegal mining sites within and around the village, which were found to contain more leaded ore.

The chairman of the council, Shuaibudeen Isah told journalist on Saturday in Minna that he personally supervised the evacuation exercise.

He said the government has taken steps to evacuate the people in order to forestall further contamination and poisoning by residents of the village.

The Minister of State for Health, Fiddles Nwankwo, had on Wednesday announced the death of 28 persons as a result of lead poisoning.

Nwankwo said as at Tuesday, out of 65 cases reported, 28 persons who were children below the age of five were confirmed dead while hundreds of domestic animals were also killed by the lethal substance.

Isah thanked the federal government and state government for the prompt intervention by the state and federal governments in addressing the situation.

The state director of public health, Dr. Mohammad Usman, said four other children diagnosed to be suffering from the effect of the poison are receiving treatment in Ankar, Zamfara Staten and a multi-sectorial committee had been set up to tackle the issue of lead poisoning in Rafi LGA of the state.

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