Nigeria: Environmental cleaning of the earth starts in Bagega village

12 Apr 2013
Press release

Environmental cleaning (known as remediation) of the earth in Bagega village, in northern Nigeria, finally started in January, three years after the worst lead poisoning crisis ever recorded was first discovered in Zamfara state.

Several villages in the northern state of Zamfara have been affected by this crisis, and prior to remediation and medical treatment, 30-40 percent of the children under five in the worst affected villages died within less than a year.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has treated over 2,000 children in Zamfara with chelation therapy, which leaches the lead from the blood. However it was not possible to start treatment for children in Bagega until their homes were cleaned. Now with remediation under way, MSF expects to be able to begin medical treatment in Bagega very soon.

MSF calls upon the Nigerian authorities to maintain their commitment to the environmental health of people in Zamfara state and to continue to support remediation and medical efforts to stem this deadly crisis.

Read the report from May 2012 which explains the background to the lead poisoning outbreak and what needed to be done.