The tailings dam at Gold Ridge. Photo credit:Pacific Scoop.

The tailings dam at Gold Ridge. Photo credit: Pacific Scoop.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted a rapid environmental health risk assessment of the tailings storage facility (dam) at Gold Ridge Mine in Guadalcanal.

This is being requested by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS).

WHO Representative, Dr. Audrey Aumua, said, WHO is supporting MHMS to monitor the health situation at Gold Ridge Mine.

Dr. Aumua said that WHO produces and works with international guidelines on water quality and human health. These guidelines are used as the basis for regulation and standard setting.

WHO has provided technical advice to MHMS based on these guidelines?

The WHO Rapid Environmental Health Impact Assessment conducted in December 2014 assessed whether discharging untreated water in a controlled way for a period of a few months from the dam into the Tinahula River would be detrimental to the health of the people who live near and use the river water.

Aumua adds, over 3,000 people live in communities downstream from the dam and their health and safety must be protected.

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