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Reducing Mercury in Gold Mining, Migori County’s Environmental Efforts

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Caleb Opondi the CECM for Environment, Natural Resources, Climate Change, and Disaster Management in Migori County, led the signing of an MOU between the County Government of Migori and the State Department for Environment and Climate Change. The focus was on Reducing mercury use and eliminating mercury emissions from Kenya’s artisanal, small-scale gold mining communities.

The MOU aims to establish demonstration sites in Osiri Macalder (Nyatike) and Kehancha (Kuria West) for mercury-free gold processing. These sites will be part of the PLANET GOLD project. By adopting alternative gold extraction methods, Dr.Ochilo led government seeks to mitigate the adverse effects of mercury pollution associated with gold mining.

This initiative is crucial because artisanal gold mining releases mercury into the environment, leading to soil and water degradation. The proximity of mining areas to community boreholes also poses risks of groundwater contamination. Through collaborative efforts, Migori County is taking a proactive stance to protect its natural resources and promote sustainable practices in the gold mining sector. The event was held at the office of PS Dr. Eng. Festus Ngeno, emphasizing the importance of intergovernmental cooperation in addressing environmental challenges.

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