This report by Pro-biodiversity Conservationists in Uganda (PROBICOU) describes a project carried out in the capital city of Kampala. The main objective of the project was to raise public awareness about the Minamata Convention on Mercury as well as on general mercury pollution. The project successfully convened a joint stakeholder dialogue for technocrats from the sectors of mining, health, environment, water and industry, as well as Members of Parliament and representatives from civil society, to raise awareness on mercury pollution and the need to accelerate Treaty ratification.
UNETMAC collected samples from 50 paint containers to test for lead content. Samples were prepared in Uganda and sent to the US for analysis. Out of the eight brands of the paint samples tested, three brands were found to contain significant concentrations of lead. Additionally, 1,000 fact sheets about lead in paint were prepared, produced, and disseminated at a press conference and later at a workshop of the National Environment Management Authority.
Using survey questions and formative research methods developed with IPEN, PROBICOU identified several mercury contaminated hot spots in and around the area of Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga. These hot spots are all located in close proximity to industrial sites that are known to produce mercury contaminants. Fish samples and hair samples were collected and analyzed. In the process of collecting samples, activists noted that they were able to share vital information with local fisherman about the dangers of mercury exposure.