In a North Sudan village, mining waste is completely exposed. Very highly toxic chemicals, including mercury, near farmlands, water sources, and residential areas. Chemical contamination has rendered some locals incapable of moving, walking, standing up or sitting down.
KHARTOUM JULY 21: In a North Sudan village, a growing number of traditional miners working at gold-bearing rocks are disposing of mining waste, laden with highly toxic chemicals, including mercury, near farmlands, water sources, and residential areas. Chemical contamination from gold extraction has rendered some locals incapable of moving, walking, standing up or sitting down.
The waste is dumped near farmland, water sources and residential areas. Chemical contamination from artisanal gold extraction poses clear health dangers. Mercury poisoning symptoms may include muscle weakness, poor coordination, numbness in the hands and feet, skin rashes, anxiety, memory problems, trouble speaking, trouble hearing, or trouble seeing. Long-term complications may include kidney problems and decreased intelligence and you can also die from it.
Affected children may show red cheeks, nose and lips, loss of hair, teeth, and nails, transient rashes, hypotonia (muscle weakness), and increased sensitivity to light. Other symptoms may include kidney dysfunction or neuropsychiatric symptoms such as emotional lability, memory impairment, or insomnia.
Sudanese researchers found that around 450,000 tonnes of mining waste – rife with mercury, lies free and unprotected in the landscape of River Nile state.
Artisanal gold mining is widespread across Sudan, employing more than two million people and producing about 80 percent of the gold extracted nationwide, according to experts. Billions of dollars worth of gold are stolen and smuggled out of Sudan every year.
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