Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman and a team comprising Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott, and Chairman of the Guyana Gold Board, Gabriel Lall, on Tuesday met with PAHO representative, Dr William Adu-Krow and a team of engineers from the United States Government’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The two engineers, Capt. Duane R. Hammond, and Certified Industrial Hygienist, Kevin Dunn are in Guyana on the invitation of the Ministry of Natural Resources to conduct a review of the airflow dynamics at the Guyana Gold Board’s (GGB) mercury capture and disposal systems at the new office in Georgetown.
According to the subject Ministry, the meeting facilitated discourses on the Government’s efforts towards ensuring public safety through the eradication of mercury emissions.
Citing the inspection by PAHO experts for mercury at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) earlier this year, Minister Trotman welcomed the engineers and updated them on the Government’s efforts towards the elimination of mercury. He also mentioned the continued engagement with stakeholders particularly miners, on alternatives.
Public Health Minister, Lawrence and Minister Scott, after noting that the issue of mercury exposure has now become a public health issue, maintained their Ministries’ commitment to providing a safe working environment for the population. Both Ministers expressed their happiness for the expertise of the engineers.
The NIOSH engineers are present in Guyana for a total of six (6) days and will conduct field visits and also meet with team members of the GGMC and GGB. A report is expected to be submitted after their visit.
This second phase of engagement follows a NIOSH visit in June 2018, when a team of five (5) experts visited Guyana and reviewed operations at GGMC, the GGB and other facilities to ensure that they were mercury free.