For tens of thousands of people in Western Kenya, gold mining is a way of making a living.
On informal mines across the region, women use mercury to bring out the gold. But a recent study conducted by a network of international charities has found that the chemical could be slowly killing them - and affecting the wider community.
The improper disposal of burned-out fluorescent lamps can pollute the environment with mercury posing health and safety hazards, especially to uninformed and unprotected waste workers.
The EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit toxics watch group, gave the public a word of warning about this threat of mercury pollution to human health and the ecosystems with the release of its new report “The Toxic Silence of the Lamps.”
NYATIKE, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Scorching sun beats down on half a dozen women as they carry large sacks of crushed ore on their backs at the Osiri-Matanda gold mine near Kenya’s border with Tanzania.
On wooden tables, they sieve the powdered ore into metal pans, add mercury, and heat the mixture over a charcoal fire. The air fills with fumes as the liquid metal evaporates - leaving behind a lump of gold.