The massive flooding in Plateau State has washed snakes from far distances into farms and residences in Pankshin/Kanke/Kannam Federal Constituency, according to Rep. Timothy Golu.
Golu, who represents the area in the House of Representatives, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos on Sunday that “all manner of snakes” had taken over his constituency.
He said: “The floods have pushed snakes into my constituency. They move around openly and snake bites have become very common there. As the waters pushed them, some snakes climbed trees, others entered holes, while some just held unto any straw. All of them later descended into residences and farms where they have been wreaking havoc.”
Golu said the commonest species were black mamba and carpet viper.
He said the people now travel to a snake clinic in Zamko, Langtang Local Government Area, but there were no more drugs in the facility.
“The drugs are very expensive and purchasing them had been difficult for the proprietor of the clinic because it was always difficult or outrightly impossible for the patients to pay,” he said.
Golu advised the federal and state governments to take over the production of local drugs to help the generally rural populace that had been the victims of the menace.
He said farmers were being advised to use hand gloves and rain boots at the farms to minimise the effect of such bites, but lamented that many hardly heed the counsel.
The lawmaker said some of the victims had often preferred orthodox therapy, but observed that such therapy had its side effects, with some victims succeeding and surviving, while others die.
Golu asked the Federal Government to resuscitate the production of anti-snake venom so as to ensure massive quantities that would be accessible and available to the people.
He said: “The best step will be to get the snakes’ poison from the affected areas so that the anti-snake venom will work effectively.”
Golu claimed that 26 states were at the risk of snake bites and called for concerted efforts to rid the society of the reptiles.