Who is TIFO?
We are a interdisciplinary team of scientists who apply environmental cleanup and health intervention methodologies developed in US mining districts to hazardous waste sites in low and middle-income countries. We have completed five cleanups, most recently addressing the lead poisoning epidemic in Zamfara and Niger States, Nigeria, where more than 400 children died from acute lead poisoning associated with artisanal gold mining.
Our work addresses environmental health issues in low-income countries who have inherited environmental disease exported from high-income nations. Wealthy countries export production, pollution, disease, and regulatory avoidance strategies to the poor. The struggles to achieve healthy communities are real; our cleanup model includes elements of community engagement, training and employing local workers to implement the remedies; adapting proven remedial protocols to local capabilities, traditions, culture, and economies; securing funding for these activities; and including responsible government and industry contributions that are sustainable and mindful of the underlying poverty and lack of community resources that facilitated the original polluting activities.
Build local capacity in low and middle-income countries to reduce environmental pollution.
Engage leadership at the grassroots level and facilitate solutions that grow from the bottom up.
Adapt technologies to meet local socio-economic and cultural needs