Jos - Snakes washed by flood into Kanke,
Kanam and other communities in Plateau have bitten more than 50 people in the
last two weeks, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports.
Rep. Timothy Golu, representative of the area at the National Assembly,
confirmed the development to NAN in Jos after visiting the victims.
Golu said that some had died while others in critical conditions were on
admission in various hospitals and traditional snake treating homes.
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.
Also read: Floods have washed snakes into my community - Rep
"We fear that something worse may result from the wound if not properly
treated because she is already limping,'' he said.
Describing the situation as "very scary and pathetic'', Golu said that the
snakes, who move openly and always in pairs, were washed into the communities
"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.
"All of them later descended into residences and farms where they have been
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.
Golu urged the Federal and Plateau 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
"Other world health bodies like WHO and UNICEF should also step in because it
is a serious situation that requires all hands on deck.''
The law maker 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 said that he had advised the people to use hand gloves and rain boots
while on their farms to minimise the effect of the snake attacks.
"But even such precautions can only minimise the damage because some of the
snakes just fly into their victims and knock them off before biting them.
"Others just splash their poisonous saliva into the faces of their victims and
that is equally dangerous,'' he said.
He said that the situation had led to other environmental concerns with
waterborne diseases like typhoid and gastro enteritis becoming common, urging
extra caution among the people.
Golu also suggested that traditional snake charmers should be supported to help
"Some charmers have devices through which they attract the snakes and get them
killed; such initiatives will reduce their number and need to be encouraged,''
He said that the urban centres were not spared as a huge black mamba was killed
in the Jos residence of a former member of the House of Representatives last