A lot of patients admitted at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) in Dar es Salaam come from lake zone regions.
Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office (Union and Environment), Selemani Jafo said this during a Parliamentary Trade, Industry and Environment Committee’s visit at a mine in Mwine village in Kahama, Shinyanga.
Jafo further explained that this is caused by the improper use of gold processing chemicals including wrong measurements and lack of protective gears.
“When you go to ORCI in Dar es Salaam you will find that many of the cancer patients are from the lake zones, where there are many mines where chemicals, specifically mercury is commonly used,” Jafo added.
Chairman of Kahama Small-scale Miners Association, Joseph Nalemi said they have been buying mercury illegally with a kilo costing between 250,000 and 450,000 adding that had they been using legal ways the price would be reasonable and they would have gotten knowledge on how to properly use and store the mercury.
The effects caused by the chemicals could go down to affecting the coming generations.
Jafo has called upon ministers to use the Government Chief Chemist office to purchase such chemicals and ensure they are properly used.