NEMC wants mercury-free artisanal small-scale gold mines

 DAR ES SALAAM: The National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) has called on small-scale gold miners to end the use of dangerous mercury, the chemicals mostly used during filtration citing raising health and environmental concerns.

Director of Environmental Studies at NEMC, Dr. Menan Jangu, told reporters in Dar es Salaam on Friday that mercury has serious effects on human health and the environment.

Approximately 1.5 million people in the country are engaged in small-scale mining, where the majority use mercury chemicals due to its affordability.

Experts warn, the use of mercury has serious consequences, including causing diseases such as cancer, cerebral palsy, and reproductive system complications.

“It has serious effects on human health, causing cancer, destroying the reproductive system, and brain damage. This is the reason the Council has been working to provide public awareness sessions to ensure people stop the use of such dangerous chemicals,” he said.

“We also suggest that should it be used, the individuals must use protective gears,” said Dr Jangu.

Also Read: CCM cadre stresses value addition to raw minerals

The Council is working with the World Bank and the GF Fund to provide awareness on the effects of mercury in mining sites.

He urged that all mining activities must be carried out in a manner that does not harm the society and the environment.

NEMC’s Chief Coordinator of the Mercury Use Control Project (EHPMP), Eng. Dr. Befrina Igulu, called on the general public to be careful about the use of mercury, considering the danger it may cause to individuals and the environment.

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