Five ways to avoid public Urination

Five ways to avoid public Urination

In celebration of the world environment day, i choose to come up with this little write up, aside from hygiene. this is also a means advocating for safe, green and habitable environment

Five ways to avoid public urination in Nigeria.

I have always wondered why a well-dressed man, apparently driving in an expensive car, would pull up by the roadside, unzip his trousers and pull out his manhood to urinate.

The funny part is you see them using their hands to cover the side shaft of the manhood on both sides while the urine projects into the earth below.Thereby polluting the air, and  killing our beautiful green plants . Some just bend their upper body backwards a bit, pushing their waist out while supporting it with their right hand and the other left holding the manhood. Some just pull down their pants and bend down.

Little did I know that ladies also urinate by the roadside, I freaked out when I saw a lady in Abuja around 2pm doing the same on top the the beautiful green grasses by the road side. She was dressed in her pink skirt and a blue top, she stood by the expressway, opened her legs while standing with her hands beneath the skirt.

From afar I watched the long urine gush out from between her legs. The sight of it got me so irritated and curious.The relief you often find on their faces suggest most people who urinate in the open, in public area, possibly have held the urine for so long and just couldn’t go an inch further with their heavy bladder.

For men, once they are done, they angle it to shake off the last drops before returning it  back to their trousers. Sometimes, urine droplets lands on their hands, and even their trousers. Many would just go ahead and rub their hands on their trouser and then walk away. This is highly unhygienic.

Most women would stamp their feet on the ground twice for the last drop of urine to fall out then they clean with tissue papers or rinse through with water

Nature calls are sometimes difficult to cheat.  But passing it out for the public to see is a no no, aesthetically and hygienically.  More so it is highly not lady like for women to be seen squatting by the roadside to pass urine.

Avoiding public defecation is a huge challenge in Nigeria as most city planners do not provide for such emergencies. Many cities are without public toilets and restroom. But here are five simple things you can do to help you avoid being pressed in places you may not have access to toilets, and how to react if nature calls unexpectedly.

  1. Use the toilet before stepping out: This is very important to all of us.No  matter where ever you are, once you know it’s time to step out from where you are ensure you use the toilet to pass out whatever it is from your body system.This should be done a second before you walk out of the door to your car.
  1. Self Discipline: This has got to to do with the mindset, once you can discipline yourself from every other thing, then you could discipline yourself from Urinating by the road side.
  1. Parental Upbringing: Growing up as a child, my teacher will tell me “Charity begins at home”. Parents should learn to teach their kids that Urinating by the roadside is wrong and they shall grow up with such training and of course pass it on to their own kids.

4.Make use of Eatery or Bank: Over time I have heard babes say they are shy of telling people they want to use the toilet,but really though we are all use the toilet no matter how classic we are. When you feel pressed walk into a bank or an eatery and head straight to gents or ladies and I can assure you,no one will stop to question.

  1. Make use of a secluded area: This will fall in place of when you can not locate a bank or an eatery. Once you get so pressed ensure you look for a well secluded corner where no one can see you but then again be conscious of secluded areas.

Let help save our plants in our environment.  Happy environmental day all.

Senate urges FG to approve funds for #SaveShikira

Senate urges FG to approve funds for #SaveShikira

The Senate on Thursday, June 2, urged the federal government to urgently approve and release the needed intervention funds from the ecological funds office for urgent remediation to help #saveshikira and affected communities.
In a three paragraph motion read by the Niger East senatorial district representative, David Umaru, the Senate called on the key federal government (ministry of health, solid minerals and environment) to re-mediate the environment and promote safer mining programmes for artisan miners.
The motion  is titled: The urgent remediation of lead poisoning in Shikira community of Niger state.
Hence, the Senate also called on  the Senate committee on solid minerals to review the 2007 mining act to reflect present realities in the sector as it affects local communities and artisan miners.
While-making contributions on #saveshikira, Umaru said the Senate is shocked at the survey result of the Federal Ministry of Health, confirming that 149 children who were under age five were tested for lead.
He added that the Senate is worried that environmental testing of residential buildings during the same survey indicated that there was a severe contamination of the environment.
“That early childhood exposure has been linked to violent criminal behavior later in the early adult life,It is therefore estimated that childhood lead exposure is costing developing countries 992 billion dollars annually due to reduction in IQ’s and earning potential according to a new study published recently,”he said
He noted that “The potential of lead poisoning to irrevocably inflict long term neurocognitive deficits on generations, there is need to urgently address this issue of national importance,
“This is a community that is already living below poverty line. All the children are already infected by this epidermic,” he said.
Also speaking , Shehu sanni representing Kaduna central senatorial district said the nation should work towards establishing a nuclear act.
“What the senate can do is to take the activities of illegal matters seriously. We have seen foreigners and Asians siphoning our resources. We should take an action that will address the problem,” he said.
There was a lead outbreak epidemic that recorded 65 cases in May 2015 in Rafi local government, which killed more than 28 children below the age of five. Many of which have  died in Shikira village of Madaka district, Rafi local government area of Niger State.
The affected children suffered convulsion and weakness of limbs as medical examination proved that the children died from lead poising arising from illegal artisan gold mining activities in the area.

8 things to know about LEAD Poison

Many Nigerians only hear about LEAD Poison and how it is affecting children in most of the mining states in Northern part of Nigeria. But careless of how its been contacted or passed on.

Many people have that tiny voice in their head that tells them (any way, wetin concern me, na village people na, dem get the sickness,dirty people, farmers dem).

Many of us already have a nonchalant attitude towards the disease, not knowing the mode of transmission, causes, symptoms or even how deadly it is. I am so sure i just spoke your mind. Not to worry i will give you an insight to it.

Let me start by explaining what LEAD Poison is?

According to research carried out by scientists, LEAD Poison is a very serious and highly fatal condition which only occurs when it builds in the body system. Aside from that, it is also a highly toxic metal and very lethal poison.

From that definition, one would know that in one way or the other we touch or hold metal which simply means it affects us all. Having said all of that, here are eight (8) things you need to know about LEAD poison.

1) It is found in lead based paints (Paints on the walls of old houses); Ever since we all heard about the poison, all we hear is, the farmers from one community went into illegal mining and as a result of that came in contact the poison. But here it is, go to urban areas; you would find old houses with paints falling out.

2) It is also found in toys; Let me ask, how many villagers buy toys for their kids? I am sure your answer is none. Ninety percent (90%) of our kids today all have toys with which they play with it. For instance, it could be seen in old toys or imported toys. It gets to them while making them in the factories.

3) Pregnant women are at a high risk of getting it; All over the world today, from villages, to communities, to town to city, we have women who get pregnant and also give births on a daily basis. They are at higher risks of getting it.

4) Drinking water also can be contaminated by the poison; It is often said that “Water is life” and we all drink water, but ironically LEAD poison can be found in water. This happens through metal corrosion or the wearing away of pluming materials in the water system and households.

5) It also breeds in soil; Do you know that soil and walkways around industrial areas may contain LEAD. It could get contaminated through past use of LEAD in gasoline.

6) Children are also at risk; Children below the age of six (6) can contact the poison because their brain and nervous system are still developing, and they often play with soil, aside from that pregnant mother could pass it on from the womb through the intestine.

7) If discovered early, it could be treated but if not it cannot be reversed; Once it’s detected early enough, it can be treated with Chelation therapy and EDTA , but in  cases where it leads to severe damages, it cannot be reversed. Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing disodium EDTA and various other substances. It is sometimes done by swallowing EDTA or other agents in pill form.

8) Basic symptoms of LEAD poison; This is a list symptoms of patience with Lead Poison; i. Abdominal Pain, ii. Abdominal Cramps, iii. Aggressive Behavior, iv. Constipation, v. Sleeping Problems, vi. Headaches, vii. Irritability, viii. Loss of Developmental Skills in Children, ix. Loss of appetite, x. Fatigue, xi. High Blood Pressure, xii. Numbness or Tingling in the extremities, xiii. Memory Loss, xiv. Anemia, xv. Kidney Dysfunction.

One would realize that LEAD poison is not only restricted to the people from the mining states. Yes, they might have one way or the other gotten exposed to the poison due to ignorance and lack of job by going into illegal mining. But anyone could be a victim of Lead Poison.

Let’s give a helping hand to the affected victims, as it is often said “Health is Wealth”.

Next episode promises to be interesting as we talk about prevention of the LEAD poison.

 

[Press Release] Time is Running Out For Sick Children with High Lead in Shikira

Press Release for Immediate Publication

 [Abuja, May 9, 2016] Over one year after lead disaster that killed little children, nothing has been done to save other living as Connected Development [CODE] warns that time is running out to solve the Niger crisis in Nigeria. “Shikira which harbours two villages (Ungwar Magiro and Ungwar Kawo) is reaching crisis point” said Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive, CODE. “More than one year after the lead poisoning disaster was first discovered in Niger state, over 300 hundred children below 5 years are still awaiting critical medical treatment.

Our partner, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders is ready and willing to treat these children, but cannot do so until their homes have been environmentally remediated. It’s time to get the lead out of Shikira,” he continues.

Remediation was due to begin at the end of October 2015, directly after the last rainy season. The window for remediation in Shikira is closing rapidly, if the process is not started before the end of May, it will be too late before the next rainy season. This could have disastrous consequences for the community, mostly vulnerable sick children – if the funds are not released now, doctors chances of treating lead-poisoning victims in Shikira is drastically reduced.

Lawal, has called on President Buhari led federal government to release the needed funds, estimated to be five hundred million naira ($2.6M) for remediation through the Ecological Funds Office under the Presidency so sick children can get chelation therapy treatments and to help curb the spread of lead poison contaminations to other neighbouring villages.

 Mr Lawal, who spoke at the Follow the Money Stakeholders Town Hall Meeting held on May 4 in Minna, Niger state, said he has called on the President and the National Assembly to declare Shikira community a state of emergency in the country.

 He further expressed his disappointment on some key agencies of the government who were not present at the meeting.

 “I’m not happy that relevant agencies of government, most especially federal ministry of environment, ministry of solid minerals and ministry of health are not present at this important meeting after sending invitations ahead of time.

 “It shows us to what extent government takes the Nigerian life serious, most especially our vulnerable children who needs urgent medical attention,” he said.

He concluded by saying, ‘As part of Follow The Money social media campaign using the hash tag #SaveShikira on Twitter, upon returning to Abuja, we tweeted at the Honourable Minister for Environment, Amina J. Mohammed, and she responded saying plans are underway to visit Shikira after the Ministerial briefing holding this week Wednesday’. But can children in Shikira wait any longer? Time that we don’t have would tell!

On Community Outreach To Shikira

Sefiya Ibrahim is a 27 years mother to Hafizu Ibrahim, a 9 month old baby who has been on admission in Kagara general hospital for 16 days receiving treatments from lead poison. According to MSF, Hafizu has over 200 mg/kg Pb lead level in his blood stream and this are the cases of other children in Shikira below 5 years. In tears, Safiya is pleading with the government to come to their aid so she would not lose her son after losing two children in 2015 due to the outbreak. ‘I’m begging our President to come and help us so we can see our children grow to become men and help us when we’re old’.

 Little Ibrahim did not stop crying the entire time we were in the hospital and he could not be pacified. We call the relevant government agencies to order and demand that remediation be done in these communities. We call on citizens to lend their voices to #SaveShikira and only immediate action by the Government can change the situation for the better. Doctors conformed that Hafizu has over 200 mg/kg Pb in his blood stream.

Before the Lead Poison Outbreak

Ever since the disease broke out in the Northern Region, it has left many dead. The disease is highly deadly and sometimes lead to fatal condition which causes severe mental and physical impairment. Young children below 5 years are most vulnerable to the lead poison, a highly toxic metal. This is caused by unregulated mining practices in communities across the country.

In May 2012, Occupational Knowledge International (Ok International) submitted a report to the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals highlighting flash points of informal mining site is Nigeria that uses dangerous substances and mining techniques which are also prone to lead poison. In this report, Niger, Ebonyi, Nassarawa, Kaduna among other states where mentioned. The outbreak of lead in Niger state shows that nothing was done to curtail this buttressing government recklessness which has taken innocent lives, mostly children.

 CODE Stakeholders Town Hall Meeting

Speaking at the town’s hall meeting hosted by CODE in Minna, the Emirate Council representative, Galadima Katako of the Kagara community, said that the outburst has been on since last year, adding that he expected the government would have found a lasting solution.

He stressed that it is important for good coordinated approach spearheaded by government so we don’t have duplication of efforts and misinformation about the plight of our people. We are begging for quick actions on remediation so our sick children can access free medical treatments by doctors on the ground ready to administer them.

‘The issue has lingered on for a while now, and if the federal government does not provide a solution to it by July, then the situation will be critical.” he stressed.

 “I want the Federal Government to help put an end to this unregulated mining activities and provide alternatives to secure jobs for the villages, ranging from agriculture amongst others,” he said.

 However, the representative of the local miners, Shaibu Usman, stated that they agree that the mining they do is unregulated, adding that it’s the only source of their income in which they feed their families and also train their kids by sending them to school.

 “We know that the lead poison generated from our mining, but we want the government to create jobs for us so we can stop the mining we do, or teach us how to mine safely and provide equipments to help us do it better” Usman said.

 The Women Representative, Nuttu Shikira, also present complained about how life has become difficult for them due to the lead poison. ‘We have lost 30 children since the outbreak last year and we’re really worried so we don’t lose other children’. We call on the government of President Muhamadu Buhari to please help us. Not only our children are sick, even our husband has been ill for some time and can’t do any work again leaving me and my children to go hungry most times.   

 Mallama Shikira, further called on the Federal Government to provide urgent assistance to the people of her community.

 Also speaking, a representative and Doctor, Simba Tirima, of Medicine and Frontiers, MSF, said that there is a high need to eradicate the lead poison existing in the various communities so as to have a healthy environment.

 “there is need for coordinated efforts by the people living within the Shikira community to curtail the spread of the lead dust as a result of unsafe mining activities being carried out by the local artisanal miners” he said.

 He however noted that in November 2015, characterisation was done to ascertain the level of contamination in the community and found out that more than 2500 community members exposed with over 300 children with high lead level in their blood stream.

MSF has set up a base in Kagara since October 2015 and with support from TerraGraphics conducted a full environmental characterization in November 2015 with a remediation plan submitted to the government.

‘We saw in some cases >500,000 mg/kg Pb in some areas which is far much higher that US EPA threshold which is 400 mg/kg Pb for residential soils’, Tirima noted.

Tsema Okoye, Global Rights representative added that remediation and treatment are not the only ideal solutions to the poison, stating that the ideal solution to this is to encourage these artisanal miners to practice safer mining and have government regulate this activities in local communities across the country. ‘The rains are here and in all of this, safer mining practices is key in ensuring no more outbreak in Nigeria is recorded’.

Hope for Shikira

TerraGraphics, MSF and local stakeholders including Follow The Money Team are all ready to start work immediately upon the release of the funds. Both organisations have been collaborating with Government agencies and ministries to assure there is a system in place that is effective, accountable, transparent and that will guarantee the best outcomes for the communities of Shikira.

This kind of collaboration ensures community participation and ownership of both process and results while assuring accountability and compliance with internationally recognised standards and best practices.

Present at the meeting were the representative of the Niger State House of Assembly, Local NGOs in the state, Representative from Independence Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Representative from security agencies, Shikira District Head, Head local Miners, Shikira Women Representative, Representative from the Emirate Council in Kagara, Project Coordinator in Kagara for MSF/Doctors Without Borders, the media and Global Rights.

                                                                                                                                  ******END*********

Editor’s Note:

Pictures from the Town’s Hall Meeting –  https://flic.kr/s/aHskzFbXxp

 Connected Development [CODE] is a non government organization whose mission is to improve access to information and empower local communities in Africa.

http://connecteddevelopment.org

 Follow The Money initiative has over 420 coalition members made up of NGOs, Journalists Campaigners, Activists and Academics using available data to ensure funds that are meant for local communities reach them. http://followthemoneyng.org

 For Clarifications or Interviews:

In Abuja, Nigeria: Amina Mohammed, Communications Officer | amina@connecteddevelopment.org | +234-803-300-9722.
In Abuja, Nigeria: Hamzat Lawal | hamzy@connecteddevelopment.org | +234-809-294-9669 / +234-806-869-9956 (WhatsApp & SMS Only).

 

 

If 10,000 Primary Health Centres are provided …

If the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, and his Ministry complete the building and upgrading of at least 10,000 Primary Health Care Centres [PHCs] across the entire 774 local government areas of Nigeria in the next one year, millions of Nigerians living in communities will reduce approaching secondary and tertiary health institutions with common ailments like headache, malaria, cough and catarrh.

If the supporting announcement by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, for the ambitious project across Nigeria ensures its achievement, then overcrowding at the tertiary hospitals would reduce.

Ehanire said that the architectural plan of healthcare in Nigeria were 4: Preventive, Promotional, Curative and Rehabilitation.

The preventive aspect entails safe water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition and immunisation which many local communities lack and existing infrastructure are not working.

Getting down to it …

The Total Proposed Health Budget stands at 257.7 billion naira from 221.7 billion [a 16% increase]

Out of which the total proposed for the National Primary Health Care Development Agency [NPHCDA] is 17.7 billion naira [It is the assumption of the author of this article that the NPHCDA would be have a major stake in this project]

Well, according to the budget for the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, there is no proposed spending for the upgrading and building of the PHCs as capital spending revolves arounds developing a national logistics supply; and procurement of vaccines and devices.

Visiting the website of the agency [http://www.nphcda.gov.ng/], reveals no information about Primary Health Centres, which should raise a few eyebrows given that the project is supposed to be completed within the year 2016.

So I return to where I began this post “If

Also, if the funds are eventually released [from who knows where] and you want to probably get involved to support the completion of the project, you could activate us to track spending.

If


For Further Reading

2016 Appropriation Bill – Budget Office of the Federation

News article – FG to build 10,000 PHCs in 774 councils – Minister