Reducing Health and Environmental Impacts of Mercury from Artisanal Gold Mining
Project Launch: 12-19-18
Artisanal gold mining in Senegal is practiced throughout the Kedougou Region and is thought to involve over 75% of the population for whom it is the main source of livelihood. In the process of artisanal gold mining, miners use mercury to extract the gold. Though mercury increases the productivity of the mines, it is also a huge threat to health causing tremors, lack of coordination, cognitive impairment, and even death. It can impact children, adults, and developing fetuses. In addition to the health impacts resulting from gold mining, mining areas also have conflicts resulting from disagreements and misunderstandings between local miners and mining companies, thereby leading to additional health and environmental problems.
This project seeks to reduce mercury contamination from gold mining by training people of the dangers of mercury and solutions that they can implement, increase awareness of the roles and responsibilities of miners and mining companies, and raise awareness about miners’ rights. To achieve these goals, community actors will conduct a training tourney in the local language and meet with notables, women’s groups, youth groups, and gold buyers. It will be structured as a discussion and attendees will be asked to share the information they learn with others in the community. Following this tourney, there will be further training that brings village representatives, mining company representatives, and government officials together to develop a solution to the issue of mercury contamination.
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