…STAKEHOLDERS ACCUSE ZAMFARA GOVT OF FOOT-DRAGGING
The Zamfara State Government is paying lip service to the ongoing effort aimed at tackling the menace of lead poisoning which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of children in the state, World Health Organisation resident consultant Dr. Jonathan Jiya has said.
Speaking at a two-day seminar on public health in Abuja yesterday, Dr. Jiya said, there is 'weak political commitment from the government on the issue,' adding that the people involved in illegal mining in the state must be provided with another means of livelihood otherwise they would go back to it.
However, the Zamfara State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sa'adu Idriss Dan-Isa denied the allegation saying the state government had made financial commitment of N240 million to the exercise of remediation and treatment of affected children but other exigencies and competing demands were responsible for the delay in the release of the money.
'The economic meltdown affected the financial status of the government that is why there is no cash flow. It is not easy to politically get the money we are still waiting for the Federal ministry of Health,' said Dr. Dan-Isa
He said the government was considering putting in place strategies that would ensure that all mining activities are done legally under 'safe mining control' and that they were training indigenous professionals that would take over the work from foreigners from WHO and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), a US -based institution.