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Minamata Convention Implementation to address Mercury toxicity in Samoa

The mercury in the electronic waste such as these are a major source that will affect the water systems, environment and human health

BY Enender Kaiono

APIA SAMOA, WEDNESDAY 08 FEBRUARY 2017: The Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment (MNRE) and United Nations Institute  of Training And Research (UNITAR) this week looked a ways to prevent the exposure of mercury on human health and the environment. The workshop looked at implementing the Minamata Initial Project, a convention that Samoa signed in 2015.

The training project is funded under the GEF Environment Facility through the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and UNITAR.

“Mercury is an acid with electronic materials that is considered dangerous to the environment,” said  Tauti Fuatino Matamua Leota, Assistant Chief Executive Officer MNRE.

The workshop’s focus was on finding various ways to raise public awareness, and since Samoa has already ratified the convention in 2015, the implementation methods are already in the government Waste Management Policy.

The impact of Mercury is evident in our food chain, and it has an impact  on peoples health. Some of the impacts of mercury acid  could cause vision blurry

“The Ministry is concerned when mercury is disposed in the soil, because it affects the water system and again people’s health,” said Tauti.

“The Ministry and the Health Sector are working together to rid mercury from our land,” said Tauti.

The MNRE is urging the people not  to dump electronic materials in the environment,  because of the danger caused by the toxicity of mercury and chemicals inside these materials to the environment, land and human health.