Dangerous Ancestral Black Cobra Snakes Invade Two Local Governments In Plateau, Bites 50 People Weekly

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Yakubu Busari

black-mamba-370x208Plateau killing ancestral Snakes has invaded Kanke and  Kanam communities of Plateau State as it has biten  over  50 Persons in  two weeks as a result of heavy flooding that washed it off into the two localities.

The strange snakes which is suspected to have been ravaging the communities have gone wild attacking farmers and biting them with dangerous venoms.

Our correspondent gathered that the people living around the river bank in Kanke and Kanam Local Government councils are beginning to count their loses , as they are crying for help and government intervention.

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Member representing Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam Federal Constituency in the National Assembly Hon. Timothy Golu disclose this to Journalists in Jos.

According to him, out of the over 50 persons affected some had died while others who are in critical conditions are on admission in various hospitals and traditional snake treating homes in the state.

He said that 13 victims were at Zamko clinic in Langtang, 20 in traditional healers’ treatment  homes, seven in herbalists’ centres, while some  visit the centres for daily treatment owing to  lack of bed space.

“Some have even been treated and discharged, but a woman at my place, who has been treated and discharged, still has pus gushing from the bitten spot and we have advised her to return to the hospital for fresh checks and we have the fear that something worse may result from the wound if not properly treated because she is already limping,” he said.

The Lawmaker describing the situation as very scary and pathetic said that the snakes, which move openly and always in pairs, were washed into the communities by flood.

“As the flood pushed them from the over flown tributaries of Rivers Benue and Niger, some snakes climbed trees, others entered holes while some just held unto any available straw an all of them later descended into residences and farms where they have been wrecking havoc.”

He said that the commonest species were the black mamba, carpet viper and cobra, and declared that most victims usually depend on luck to survive.

The Honourable member urged the Federal and Plateau  State Governments to treat the snake invasion as a national medical emergency concern and give it the same response given to HIV/AIDS and the Ebola virus.

“Government must come in with full force and ensure that the anti-snake venom is provided to the people free of charge because it is too expensive for the rural poor.

“Other world health bodies like WHO and UNICEF should also step in because it is a serious situation that requires all hands on deck.”

He also called on the federal and state governments to fumigate the homes, farmlands and the general environment of the communities to reduce the number of snakes, especially since they appeared to be reproducing.

He said that the fumigation would also reduce the number of crocodiles washed into the communities, pointing out that the weather of the area was naturally attractive to such reptiles.

Golu equally said he had advised the people to use hand gloves and rain boots while  on their farms to minimise the effect of the snake attacks.

Investigation revealed that the urban centres were not spared as a huge black African cobra mamba was killed in the Jos residence of a former member of the House of Representatives recently.

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