Rao, Pratap M.
Okeyman Environmental Foundation
The use of mercury in artisanal and small scale gold mining in Ghana poses serious environmental and health risks. The purpose of this project is twofold; to improve safety by prototyping a device to reduce mercury exposure, and to document our novel co-design approach. We formed partnerships with miners, community members, and tradespeople in the town of Osino, Ghana through participant observation and collaborative design workshops. We prototyped three iterations of retorts, blending our technical expertise with miners’ local expertise. By allowing miners to lead the stages of design and grounding our partnership in mutual respect and sharing of ideas, our partners recognized their own capacity to shape their own outcomes. Future efforts can include further technical and field testing to improve device function and manufacturability and an implementation scheme to expand access to these devices.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
All authors have granted to WPI a nonexclusive royalty-free license to distribute copies of the work, subject to other agreements. Copyright is held by the author or authors, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.
Social Science and Policy Studies