This project will raise awareness by training 200 women and children from mercury exposure in artisinal gold mining in Mubende (Uganda).Women and children use their bare hands and feet in washing crushed rocks mixed with mercury to get gold. The miners have no knowledge on dangers that mercury poses to their health and environment and alternative technologies.The inhalation of mercury vapour produces harmful effects on the nervous, digestive, immune systems,abnormalities,miscarriages,death.
In Uganda, at least 30,000 artisanal and small scale miners (ASGM) are engaged in gold mining, which has become a relatively important economic activity. Elemental mercury destined for use in ASGM is largely uncontrolled and unregulated. This has left the miners, men and women and children exposed to high levels of mercury in gold mining sites and surrounding environment. This project will raise awareness on the alternatives to mercury use and promote best practices in handling mercury.
The project will provide information and raise awareness on the dangers of mercury and alternatives to its use. It will also train the participants on best practices of handling mercury. We will also train Trainers of Trainees (TOTs) to impact on a wider constituency of miners. We will also engage local health workers to serve as volunteers in mounting critical information to the miners.
The long-term impact is to abandon the use of mercury and adopt the alternative technologies to mercury use such as Borax. Also, to influence the local and central governments to make guidelines and regulate artisinal gold mining activity and the use of mercury. Lobby the government to implement and honour its obligations as per the Minamata convention. Further,to initiate and influence efforts to clean the environment contaminated with mercury in gold mines.