Coronavirus: Children now exposed, hawk items on streets, markets in Ilorin



Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic causing devastation globally, children who are the most vulnerable group are still found hawking around highways and across some markets in Ilorin Township

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that these children are found around market areas such as Ipata, Maraba and Oja Oba hawking pepper, tomatoes, onions and fruits among others.

NAN also observed that these children were without any protective gears such as face mask,  gloves and hand sanitizers.

The Kwara Government also has imposed a partial lockdown on the state as part of preventive measures against the spread of the pandemic.

However, only food stores and pharmacies are allowed to open at the market.

Speaking on this development, Mrs Tosin Apiriola-Ajayi, the Executive Director of Women Environment and Youth Development Initiative, warned parents against sending their children to hawk in this dangerous period.

Apiriola-Ajayi noted that her organisation had observed the dangerous trend and would as a matter of urgency commence sensitisation against sending children to hawk amidst Covid 19 pandemic.

She told NAN that there was need to put in place good policy measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Apiriola-Ajayi said many people survived on daily income, and with the inactive economic situation brought about by Covid-19, the situation was worsening.

“People are suffering and they are sending children into danger to bring sustenance.

“The reality is that no parent wants to send their children into danger but are forced to do so for purpose of survival,” she said.

Apiriola-Ajayi appealed to the state government to ensure palliative measures get to the vulnerable people in the society.

Also speaking with NAN, Mr Femi Oyedeji, the Founder of Save the Future of Children Initiative in Nigeria, pointed out that poverty was aggravating the level of vulnerability in the populace.

Oyedeji explained that the economic stagnation and lack of palliative measures was a double challenge.

He said government was overwhelmed but was trying its best to alleviate the suffering of the people, adding that palliative measures should be provided by government at all levels.

Oyedeji explained that his organisation was complementing government’s effort by distributing some foodstuffs as palliative measures in Ilorin West LGA.

All efforts to get government’s officials to comment proved abortive as the government spokesman was not picking his calls.

The state government planned fumigation of markets and public places was also yet to take place.(NAN)

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