Iliya Garba, Minna
The discovery of gold in large quantity in Shikira Village of Rafi Local Government area of Niger State has led to the death of 28 kids within two weeks. Our correspondent reports that when the mineral resources was discovered in the area invariably the large deposit attracted gold miners from other illegal fields scattered in the Northern region to invade the community which turned out to be a disaster to many homes as they lose their loved ones. It was gathered that the activities of the illegal miners of which they have set up about 21 mining pits with each of the pit being extracted by about six diggers at a time can be attributed to the thick pollution of the environment.
The UNION gathered that the method of extracting the gold from other minerals such as lead, copper, zinc among others of which as a result of processing involve crushing the extracted minerals constantly lead the release of thick dust into the air and scientifically referred to as lead. A spokesman of the residents Sa’adu Ibrahim explained that the illegal miners and residents are fully aware of the dangers of the lead poisoned dust to even animals but could not disengage from the business due to sudden fortune discovered in it.
According to him, the financial benefit despite the exploitation by middle, there are instance where gold stone was once sold up to N 5 million thereby being the reason of taking all the risk both the death of the kids as a result of the fact that the children cannot cope with thick dust of lead causing their death. The activities of the illegal miners in the area has been suspended officially but the miners are still around the Shikira and Tunga Kawo still carrying out their illegal mining activities which needs urgent government attention in order to save the lives of innocent children in the area. It would be recalled that the plight of the villagers was raised by Senator David Umaru during his electioneering campaign in the area of which a Federal Government delegation led by Dr Sani Gwarzo visited the area because hitherto the cause of the death of the children was not known until the clinical analysis proved that the cause of the death is as a result of lead poisoning.