Organizations & Major Projects

...involved in the Bengal arsenic crisis or related work.  If your organization and/or project should be added here, please email your info to  

Note: External links open in a new window.

If you don't find what you are looking for here, please check also:

  1. The companion page Research & Researchers - the line between 'research/researchers' and 'organizations/projects' can be fairly fuzzy.  
  2. The NAISU Arsenic 2002 report, or the WaterAid Arsenic 2000 Report, An Overview of the Arsenic Issue in Bangladesh, both include extensive sections on "who is doing what." 
  3. Searchable list of persons concerned with arsenic at the website of the Arsenic Project at the Harvard Schools.


Asian Arsenic Network.  Japan-based INGO with a Dhaka office.  Newsletter articles available at the AAN site:

Arsenic Research Group. Bangladesh-based group working on: arsenic source research, development of a removal technology package, and development of a ceramic filter impregnated with a tiny amount of colloidal silver to render surfacewater biologically safe.  List of staff and description of ongoing and planned projects.

Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee - see the BRAC article: "Village health workers can test tubewell water for arsenic".  See also the reference list for other articles from BRAC projects and authors.

Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies.  Search the BCAS website.

British Geological Survey.  BGS undertook a groundwater quality survey in Bangladesh in 1992, in which they did not check for arsenic.  This survey is the subject of a court case in Britain.  BGS responses to this case include:

BGS was involved in later studies of arsenic in Bangladesh groundwater

Dhaka Community Hospital. Leading organization in addressing the crisis in Bangladesh, and one of the owners of the ACIC website. The DCH website has general information about their organization.

Environment and Geographic Information System Supply Project for Water Sector Planning (EGIS). Bangladesh Ministry of Water Resources project funded by the Government of the Netherlands.  EGIS's 1997 arsenic project was  the Spatial Information System for Arsenic Evaluation and Mitigation Programs.  Funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the project was to construct spatial databases at national, regional, and local levels for presenting and assessing the breadth of the arsenic problem. The databases included themes on physical features, demographics, and arsenic concentration for sample wells. In addition, EGIS explored field surveys and database construction techniques, and developed GIS tools for data organization, analysis, and presentation to be used by managers, Scientists, and policy makers addressing the arsenic problem.  EGIS's 1998 arsenic project was the "Pilot Study on Tubewell Location and Survey Tools for the Arsenic Emergency Program".  Recently (as of 2003), they did two projects for UNICEF:  (1)  Tubewell location survey and spatial distribution of contamination map for all the tubewells of Bhanga Upazila of Faridpur district, Muradnagar Upazila of Comilla District and Serajdikhan Upazila of Munshiganj District, and (2) development of Arsenic Database Software, a unique database to hold the test results of all the arsenic testing jobs and to generate user query reports and database management activities.  For more information, contact Md. Hasan Ali, Cluster Coordinator, Database and IT

GARNET-South Asia is conducting a study of arsenic conditions in Bangladesh.  In collaboration with WHO (Sombo Yamamura and Han Heijnen), the Department of Public Health Engineering (A.M. Huq), CARE Bangladesh (Z.Rahman), WSSCC (R. Wirasinha), WEDC/GARNET (Darren Saywell), selected GARNET NGO members as appropriate, and the All India Institute of Public Health and Hygiene, Calcutta, India (Professor Nath and Professor Majumdar). Bilqis Amin Hoque is the Principal Coordinator.  GARNET-SA is a regional local network of the Global Applied Research Network. It is a non-profit voluntary association operating out of Dhaka, Bangladesh since 1993. GARNET-SA contributes to water and sanitation sector improvement by disseminating applied research information and building stakeholder capacity. It organizes regular scientific meetings for professionals from government, non-government, and development partner organizations, universities and research institutions, which provide opportunities to exchange information and establish professional contacts.  An average of 60 of the approximately 400 members were present at each arsenic workshop, representing organizations from all over the country and participating at their own expense. Small development partners working at grass roots level, particularly those having limited access to modern information technology and to research communities, obtained access to reliable information about the arsenic problem and various mitigation issues. They also learned about arsenic measurement and removal through demonstration meetings at laboratories and field sites and received communication materials from various organizations such as CARE, UNICEF, ICCDRB, WHO, etc. Field visits to institutions in Calcutta, Singair and Manikganj also took place.  - From: Source Water And Sanitation Weekly: Special Features Edition March 2000.

IDE (International Development Enterprises)Country Director, David Nunley.  "In recent years, IDE Bangladesh has risen to the enormous challenge posed by arsenic contamination in the groundwater that people are drinking. IDE has applied its market-based approach in a three-pronged response to the crisis:

  1. Public education: IDE uses its expertise in rural marketing techniques to inform people of the dangers of arsenic poisoning and how to prevent it.
  2. Arsenic testing for water wells: IDE has trained micro-entrepreneurs in the technical and small-business skills needed to provide water well testing services for a fee.
  3. Arsenic-free water sources: IDE has conducted extensive R&D into low- cost rainwater harvesting systems as an alternative water source and an innovative arsenic filter."

Center for Health & Population / International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B).  Webpages on arsenic-related activities at ICDDR,B Center for Health and Population Research, Dhaka:

  1. Arsenic in tubewell water and health consequences: Studies in Matlab
  2. AsMat New Project for Arsenic Research in Matlab
  3. Quality Assurance for Arsenic Measurements
  4. Search ICDDR,B publications for e.g. "arsenic"

JICA Study Team - "We, JICA Study Team, have started the study on groundwater development of deep aquifers for safe drinking water supply to arsenic affected areas in Western Bangladesh last May. The main objective of the study is to prepare a master plan to cope with arsenic contamination of groundwater. We are pleased to inform you that we have selected the following villages as Model Rural Areas where we are going to conduct several activities:

  • Bara Dudpatila (Chuadanga District, Damurhuda Thana, Howli Union, Dudpatila Mauza)
  • Rajnagar Bankabarsi (Jessore District, Keshabpur Thana, Panjia Union, Rajnagar Bankabarsi Mauza) 
  • Krishna Chandrapur (Jhenaidah District, Maheshpur Thana, Fatehpur Union, Chandpur Mauza)

"In Model Rural Areas, we are going to conduct household interviews on socio-economic conditions, arsenic test of tubewells, drilling of deep wells, performance test of arsenic removal equipment, core boring, and diagnosis of arsenic patients. The household interviews and arsenic test of tubewells have started; however, due to the flood in the study area, the activities have not been completed yet. For more information, please contact JICA Study Team Office, c/o Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE Jessore), Gurudas Babu Lane Road, Jessore-7400, tel/fax +880-421-74091, email; or Mr. Md. Zainal Abedin, Superintending Engineer, Department of Public Health and Engineering, DPHE Bhaban, Kakrail, Dhaka, tel 934-2485, fax 935-3229."

Local Government Engineering Department

Medical Information Group, Dhaka Medical College has an arsenic website"MIG runs a non-profit Internet access system called MEDINET for the health professionals in Bangladesh. MIG also runs an International Mailing List, mignet to discuss health issues. You are invited to subscribe it.... We have been motivated by National Institute of Health Sciences, Japan and Global Information Network (GINC) to create this page.... The information for this page was  collected from Department of Occupational & Environmental Health, National Institute of Preventive & Social Medicine, Dhaka and Arsenic Contamination Prevention Project, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka"

NGO Forum for Drinking Water Supply & Sanitation.  Their arsenic programme has numerous facets.  A key element is the NGOs Arsenic Information & Support Unit, which published an overview in 2002 of who is doing what with arsenic, entitled Arsenic 2002 (PDF file; or see the referring page for an HTM version).  

Proshika.  Bangladesh NGO, in late 2000 signed an agreement with Canadian International Water Purification (CIWPL) for the local manufacture of low-cost household water purifiers for arsenic removal. Proshika is also installing commercial arsenic treatment plants distributed by ALTECH (Belgium) and SIDKO (Germany).

Rotary International, Bangladesh & India/Nepal Districts

Rotary Foundation held a "Peace Conference for Arsenic - Safe Water" on 26, 27 & 28 Nov 1999 at Calcutta. From [no longer online] (undated, my guess is early- or mid-2000):

"Rotarians in Districts 3280 [Bangladesh] and 3290 [India/Nepal] commit themselves to a five year programme of activities built around the action programme given below:

  • Create awareness among Rotarians and their communities about the arsenic problem and its mitigation options.
  • Take up club level, multi club level, district level or multi district level projects for implementation.Develop club or district level organisations to take up implementation of the project on a continued basis. 
  • Encourage formation of Rotary Community Corps or Community Village Organisation to establish ans sustain the projects. 
  • Ensure effective participation and leadership by women in the decision making process. 
  • Liase with government and other national / international agencies for the advancement of the cause of arsenic safe water. 
  • Interact with The Rotary Foundation to seek support for the projects. 
  • Take up treatment and rehabilitation programs for arsenic patients anf\d their families.

Bangladesh - SOS Arsenic Pilot Project in SchoolsA small-scale initiative of the SOS Arsenic Project, set up and coordinated by Dr. Jamal Anwar, a Bangladeshi national living in Germany. "We intend to introduce six arsenic free water units for six schools in the rural area of Faridpur district. In other words about 7, 000 students will get arsenic free water, education and environmental consciousness that will influence their parents. More than 60% of the students in rural Faridpur are women". Educational programme, dug wells, uncontaminated aquifer and rainwater harvesting have obtained great acceptance among teachers and students in the completed first phase. The total budget of the project (Phase 1 and 2) is about US$ 13 000 (EUR 13,600).'

UNDP-World Bank Water and Sanitation Program. Site did not have any arsenic-related information last time I checked.

UNICEFArsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh - Media Brief, updated version of Jan 2000 [1.3 Mb Acrobat file | Referring page].  A UNICEF Bangladesh brochure in Bengali is available - see the online version scanned by ACIC.  [UNICEF Bangladesh used to have a web site at but, strangely, this disappeared . . .]  

Arsenic crisis related activities at United Nations University, Tokyo Japan.  UNU faculty (Dr. Zafar Adeel of UNU Environment and Sustainable Development and possibly others) have been involved in organizing several international arsenic conferences and has published a policy paper and several research papers.

WaterAid.  This UK based charity, supported by UK water supply companies, has been involved in several arsenic crisis-related initiatives in Bangladesh

The World Bank -

For more information, see the BAMWSP entry on this page, below.

World Health Organization - Arsenic in Drinking Water, Protection of the Human Environment - World Health Organization.  This webpage has links to key WHO arsenic-related resources, including: 

You can search the WHO site for arsenic related information.  You can also search the WHO library (I found this a bit slow...).  Oddly, the  library is somewhat website-like in that it contains online (scanned) versions of (some?) documents.  Scanned versions of the 1997 Delhi consultation results & recommendations are available:  "Arsenic in Drinking Water and Resulting Arsenic Toxicity in India & Bangladesh", in two volumes,  "Report of a Regional Consultation"  and "Recommendations for Action".  [The latter is also available at ACIC as an HTML document]. 

Major Projects

Bangladesh-Mitigation of Arsenic in Groundwater.  USD44.4M project being implemented by Min. Local Govt. Rural Devel., Govt. Bangladesh, with funding assistance of a USD32.4M IDA credit and a USD3M Swiss Development Cooperation grant. From the project description [version no longer online]:  "The project has three components:

  • "On-site mitigation: rural areas (villages) and in urban areas (municipalities). ... The municipalities will be assisted ... by DPHE and LGED. ... Physical interventions in towns include installation of deep tubewells; provision of hardware for rainwater harvesting and/or sanitation treatment plants (for arsenic removal or to treat alternative surface water) and expansion of distribution systems. In the rural program, the Project Management Unit (PMU) will select Support Organizations (SOs) to carry out surveys, prefeasibility studies, community development (development of a water committee, Permanent Committee of Gram Parishad or equivalent) and appropriate mitigation measures in prioritized villages in a participatory fashion. Physical works will be low cost and include installation of shallow and deep tubewells, ponds with filters, handpumps, treatment and rainwater catchment systems. ... Schemes will be classified as a function of the vulnerability to contamination, social characteristics and demand of the community, as case A (only local capacity building required), B (capacity building and limited physical intervention), or C (capacity building and substantial physical intervention) and their numbers estimated.  ... A part of this program will be emergency relief, ... rapid well screening, information dissemination, provision of arsenic-free water and medical help ...
  • "Improved understanding of the arsenic problem: The exhaustive field surveys will yield baseline data on arsenic contamination and set in place a mechanism for continued monitoring.  A National Arsenic Mitigation Information Center (NAMIC) ...[and] Technology Assessment Group (TAG) will be set up. [TAG will] finance study proposals submitted by local research establishments to competitive peer review.
  • "Strengthening of implementation capacity: As part of the on-site mitigation interventions, capacity building measures will include training and development of coordination and supervision arrangements. Capacity will be strengthened within communities (water committees or equivalent), and to the extent necessary, Paurashavas, to implement and maintain the field interventions and manage funds allocated or collected for that purpose. ... For the health sector, selective support for capacity building will be included. Assistance on arsenic diagnosis will be provided to medical universities and colleges ... DGHS (Directorate General of Health Service) medical and field staff, and the Bangladesh Medical Association. "

Other online resources for this project:

In March 2001,  a mid-term Interim Review of the BAMWSP project was carried out. The official parties to the Review were reportedly unable to reach any agreements by the conclusion of the Review and as of this writing (21 Apr 01), the aide-memoire of the Review was still at the Bank. The Bank will present their finalized version, when it is ready, to the Government (ie to the BAMWSP focal person at the Ministry of Local Government, Mufad Chowdhury) for their input and approval.

For more information, see also the World Bank entry on this web page, above.

Groundwater studies for arsenic contamination in Bangladesh (Phase I)

UNICEF-Supported Arsenic Mitigation Programme.  Project description (support for DPHE and NGOs to do testing and mitigation and for development of laboratory capabilities and supply of field kits, and for development of arsenic testing protocol).  Plus other arsenic-related information.