End Lead Poisoning Epidemic in Nigeria


Target: Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

Goal: Stop spread of lead poisoning epidemic perpetuated by artisan mining.

A lead poisoning epidemic, perpetuated by artisan mining, has claimed the lives of countless children and has possibly irreversibly damaged water supplies in small villages across Nigeria. According to a recent Human Rights Watch report, widespread lead poisoning is responsible for causing thousands of children to become ill with permanent, life-long disabilities and is suspected to have been largely avoidable. Demand that government officials increase efforts to stop the spread of this deadly epidemic.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, was tirelessly briefed on the harmful effects of lead poisoning in many small villages across the country, many of which engaged in artisan mining, a dangerous practice in which villagers use simple tools to crush ore and mine gold without proper protection or ventilation. In an effort to address the issue, Jonathan pledged money to address the crisis, but did nothing, allowing the authorization to release the money to sit on his desk until the end of his presidency.

Quite ironically, Jonathan asked that the people of Nigeria forgive him for his deplorable mistakes regarding the lead poisoning epidemic. However, for the innumerable amount of Nigerian children who have died or are currently suffering, the apology comes a little too late. Despite investigations into the mining practices of Nigerian mining regions and the disturbing final reports, Nigerian authorities, namely former President Jonathan, ignored the issue and long-term plans for clean-up remained stagnant.

The Centers for Disease Control, Blacksmith Institute and the Environmental Law Institute have all urged Nigeria to rectify the lead poisoning epidemic, to no avail, as Nigerian authorities fail to recognize the full extent of the problem they’re facing and allow monetary selfishness and corruption to control their moral compass.

Sign the petition to urge the new President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to take the lead poisoning epidemic seriously and create legislation aimed at cleaning up the nation and saving the lives of countless children.


Dear President Muhammadu Buhari,

Nigeria’s lead poisoning epidemic has claimed the lives of countless children and maimed thousands, leaving them with developmental issues and other insidious health effects. At the crux of this issue is the widespread practice of artisan mining, which is responsible for exposing both adults and children to harmful lead compounds that contaminate the air they breathe and the water they drink.

Despite recommendations to clean up Nigerian waterways and villages from the Center for Disease Control, the Blacksmith Institute, and the Environmental Law Institute, Nigerian authorities have largely acted apathetically to the country’s epidemic, costing the country the lives of innocent men, women and children almost daily. To make matters worse, artisan mining may have irreversibly damaged some of the country’s richest water supplies, making this an environmental issue of cataclysmic proportions.

The country’s current situation could have been avoided if Nigerian authorities of the past, namely former President Goodluck Jonathan, took heed to the advice and reports by environmental and health experts and created legislation that made mining safer and protected children from exposure.

I urge you to realize the faults of past leaders and to avoid following in their tainted footsteps. Nigerian men, women and children affected by the lead poisoning epidemic need to be saved, and you’re their only hope for a better life.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: AverageZ

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