THE MERCURY FREE GOLD MINING PROJECT (JAN, 2017 TO JUNE, 2018).
The main objective of the project is to improve the health, safety status and work environment for the Artisanal Small Scale Gold Miners (ASGMs) who form the biggest proportion of miners in Uganda. These ASGMs use Mercury to extract gold. Mercury is harmful to the human body and the environment. Many ASGMs are not aware about the harmful effects of mercury, and those who know that Mercury is harmful, didn’t know of an alternative method of gold extraction.
The 3 specific objectives of the project are about building capacity on mercury free gold mining among selected ASGMs and the partner organisations, and documentation of the use of mercury in ASGM in Uganda. The second objective is about doing international advocacy for mercury free gold processing and to enrol ASGMs and partners in international networks. Last but not least, to create alliances locally, nationally and regionally (or nationally between stakeholders in Uganda, regionally in Africa between nationally based advocacy organisations and international network of ICOEPH.
ASGM Community Response to the project:
The mining communities in the various districts are happy that the project has opened their eyes about the human and environmental effects of mercury to the extent that the local leadership in the Mining areas in Mubende have planned to show the video clips about mercurial effects free of charge in their video halls to enable all miners learn about the effects of mercury. Some others have requested for tests to determine how much they have been poisoned so far so that they may be treated. The project is being implemented in five (5) Districts, including, Mubende, Busia, Namayingo , Karamoja and Buhwezu.
The images below are a demonstration of gold processing using Borax method rather than mercury