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Round Earth Media has supported dozens of journalists who have written hundreds of pieces covering numerous topics in diverse countries. To explore all these stories, visit our archives!

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Health Effects of Mercury on Ghana’s Small Scale Miners

October 20, 2014

Health Effects of Mercury on Ghana’s Small Scale Miners

This story originally appeared in the Daily Guide.

BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

“This is the box we use; we put the gold inside and add some chemicals. It gets rid of the impurities inside the gold and gives you the pure gold,” says 27-year-old Abu Quarm, a worker at a small gold mine in Prestea.

Mercury is the chemical used by Quarm and other small scale gold miners in extracting the gold small miners sell to prospective buyers who intend trade the precious mineral to gold companies.

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Gold Mining in Ghana: Playing with Mercury

November 8, 2013

NESTLED in a former cocoa-farming region in southwestern Ghana, the town of Prestea boasts more than 150 small-scale gold mines in the backyards of abandoned farms. The town, with a population of about 35,000, also sits covered in permanent smog—a red dust that stains white goats crimson. It is the result of lethal mercury, on which miners all over Ghana rely to refine their gold. In Prestea, where gravediggers are in greater supply than doctors, death from mercury poisoning is routine.

Thus begins Maddy Crowell’s powerful story in the Economist Magazine

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From Round Earth's Next Gen Journalists in Ghana

July 15, 2013

Maddy Crowell and Jamila Okertchiri are partners on a Round Earth Media reporting project in Ghana.  Crowell is an alumnus of Round Earth’s journalism program in Morocco, in collaboration with SIT Study Abroad, and will be a senior at Carleton College.  Okertchiri is a talented early-career Ghanaian journalist, a reporter for Ghana’s Daily Guide where Crowell is also working this summer.  Round Earth’s veteran journalists are mentoring this pair and just received the following from Crowell.

Slowly waking up with the rising sun,

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