I’m not sure a gold ring is worth what’s happening in Nigeria

Lead contamination from hundreds of gold mines across northwestern Nigeria has caused the deaths of 400 children under the age of five and exposes thousands more children to lead poisoning, according to a report from the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch. Across the state of Zamfara, where hundreds of artisanal mines are now in operation, young children processing ore are exposed to toxic levels of lead, the report said. Many others are exposed when family members return home from work covered in the toxic dust, when lead-filled ore is crushed in their homes, or when exposed to contaminated water and food. In some villages, mortality rates were as high as 40 percent among children who showed signs of lead poisoning. “Zamfara’s gold brought hope for prosperity, but resulted in death and backbreaking labor for its children,” said Babatunde Olugboji, a deputy program director at Human Rights Watch. Healthcare workers also report high rates of infertility and miscarriage among adults in the region. While governmental and international organizations have treated more than 1,500 children showing signs of acute lead poisoning, the report says thousands more children require chelation therapy to remove lead from their bodies.

via Yale Environment 360: Nigerian Children Perish From Exposure to Lead in Gold Mining.

I know… right? Free Markets.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

One thought on “I’m not sure a gold ring is worth what’s happening in Nigeria

  1. Why is there no mention of the companies that are exploiting these people? seems like an important part of the report is missing, maybe the most important part.

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