News

Guyana Government concerned over use of mercury

Monday, February 18, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — the Guyana Government says it remains concerned at the high use of mercury and has promised to work on providing an alternative, especially to indigenous communities involved in the mining industry.

“Obviously, we have to go back to the drawing board so far as education is concerned, it is not for a lack of trying, there are billboards, people are seeing them but at the same time not seeing them,” National Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said.

Trotman, who along with the Indigenous Peoples' Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock, met with officials of the National Working Group on the Minamata Convention on Mercury recently, said the use of mercury still exists in many villages, and more often than not, those very villagers are facilitating the practice.

“In the very villages mentioned, it is the villagers themselves who are using the mercury, sometimes you run away with the idea that it is some outside miner that does it and the villages look on helpless, but invariably I'm finding that they are very much involved.”

The meeting was aimed at bringing stakeholders up to date on the developments regarding the national action plan for the Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector and government's efforts on the elimination of the use of mercury.

Trotman said that while he understood the challenges involved in moving away from the practice, the Government is working on an alternative and reiterated a committed to working closer with the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA).

Allicock said that further education was necessary to eradicate the use of mercury and protect lives and the environment.

“This calls for a lot of education if we are going to save the environment, not only the minor, but also the people living there… a lot of time they do not know, so education is necessary,” the Indigenous Peoples' Affairs Minister noted.

Allicock said while much has been done not all Guyanese have taken on the education programme.

“I don't look at this as a project, but a programme… We need within the communities, environmental personnel to help promote the Government's efforts in protecting the environment,” he stated.

Elemental and methylmercury are toxic to the central and peripheral nervous systems. The inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT