Following Senator Dr. Saraki’s instrumental role in ensuring the release of federal funds for the remediation of Bagega Village in Zamfara State, potentially saving the lives of 1,500 children from lead poison, Senator Saraki is now continuing the struggle to help the women in the village. Senator Saraki is urging the #savebagega campaign and other local and international NGOs to not lose interest in Bagega Village, but to use this opportunity to focus efforts on providing urgently needed support to the community.
Senator Dr. Saraki lead the way by providing seed funding of N500,000 for the creation of women’s cooperatives.
For many in the community, gold mining is the only way to make a living and yet, ironically is also a leading cause of death. An elderly grandmother who has lost nine grandchildren due to lead poisoning, but despite her devastating loss, continues to labour at the mines as there is no alternative for her.
It is women like her, who Dr. Bukola Saraki is aiming to empower by encouraging the formation of co-operatives as a safety net against ill fortune. Having provided some seed funding of N500,000, Senator Saraki is now urging local and international NGOs to support Bagega women in forming cooperatives. During a fact finding trip with Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders which prompted President Goodluck Jonathan to approve the release of funds for the re mediation of Bagega, Senator Dr. Saraki was taken aback by the living and working condition in this community. A visit to the local processing areas, showed very primitive processing techniques and highlighted the need for safer techniques and modern equipment.
Senator Dr. Saraki was keen to assure the Emir of Zamfara State that following the release of federal funds, he would keep oversight to ensure the clean up of Bagega Village and he would support the Emir in encouraging the international community to assist in improving the living and working conditions of the Bagega community.
Special Assistant on Media and Advocacy
Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki