& 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: External links open in a new window.
If you don't find what you are looking for here, please
- The companion page Research &
Researchers - the line between 'research/researchers' and
'organizations/projects' can be fairly fuzzy.
- 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
list of persons concerned with arsenic at the website of the Arsenic
Project at the Harvard Schools.
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
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.
(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:
- Public education: IDE uses its expertise in rural marketing
techniques to inform people of the dangers of arsenic poisoning and how to
- 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.
- 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."
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:
in tubewell water and health consequences: Studies in Matlab
New Project for Arsenic Research in Matlab
Assurance for Arsenic Measurements
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
- 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 email@example.com;
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 http://www.rotary3290.org/committees/dtf/arsenic/ [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
- 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
- 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
- Take up treatment and rehabilitation programs for arsenic patients anf\d
SOS Arsenic Pilot Project in Schools. A 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.
UNICEF. Arsenic 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 . . .]
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
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,
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,
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
of a Regional Consultation" and "Recommendations
for Action". [The latter is also available at ACIC as an HTML
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
"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
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.