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Article From News From Bangladesh archives


Water of 62 dists polluted with Arsenic, says minister

Both ruling and opposition party leaders attending a seminar have agreed to work together to resolve the arsenic crisis terming it a national problem, reports UNB.Their positive attitude aired while Health Minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and city BNP President Sadek Hossain Khoka MP addressed the national seminar on arsenic at Jatiya Press Club Thursday.

The Forum of Environment Journalists of Bangladesh (FEJB) under the support of health and family welfare ministry and UNDP organised the seminar to release a report - Bangladesh State of Arsenic 2000.Addressing the seminar, the health minister supported BNP leader Khoka's suggestion that entire population irrespective of opinions and political identities should work together to combat arsenic crisis.He said so far over 10,000 arsenic affected patients have been detected across the country as underground water of 62 districts has been polluted with the poisonous element.The minister mentioned that a nine-member task force with experts had been formed to find out the reason behind alarming arsenic contamination in tube-well water in the country.BNP leader Sadek Hossain Khoka termed the arsenic problem a national disaster and said all will have to join hands in mitigating the problem forgetting all differences.Khoka said not only the rural areas, Dhaka city is now also facing the threat of arsenic contamination. He suggested taking urgent steps to keep 10 million (one crore) city-dwellers free from arsenic.Another BNP lawmaker Ehsanul Huq Milon of Kachua in Chandpur district said his constituency is the most arsenic affected area in the country.FEJB President Quamrul Islam Chowdhury chaired the seminar, addressed, among others, by Dr Iftekhar Hossain, deputy programme manager (Arsenic) under the health ministry and Peter Herson, Consultant DPHE-DANIDA project. ( UNB)



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