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Improving awareness of mercury pollution in small-scale gold mining communities: Challenges and ways forward in rural Ghana

Hilson, G., Hilson, C.J. and Pardie, S. (2007) Improving awareness of mercury pollution in small-scale gold mining communities: Challenges and ways forward in rural Ghana. Environmental Research, 103 (2). pp. 275-287. ISSN 0013-9351

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2006.09.010

Abstract/Summary

This paper critiques the approach taken by the Ghanaian Government to address mercury pollution in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. Unmonitored releases of mercury-used in the gold-amalgamation process-have caused numerous environmental complications throughout rural Ghana. Certain policy, technological and educational initiatives taken to address the mounting problem, however, have proved marginally effective at best, having been designed and implemented without careful analysis of mine community dynamics, the organization of activities, operators' needs and local geological conditions. Marked improvements can only be achieved in this area through increased government-initiated dialogue with the now-ostracized illegal galamsey mining community; introducing simple, cost-effective techniques for the reduction of mercury emissions; and effecting government-sponsored participatory training exercises as mediums for communicating information about appropriate technologies and the environment. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8660
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ghana, small-scale gold mining, mercury, galamsey, retorts, DUNKWA-ON-OFFIN, DEVELOPING-COUNTRIES, ALLUVIAL GOLDMINE, INDUSTRY, BRAZIL, WATER, FISH, ENVIRONMENT, SEDIMENTS, WILDLIFE

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