Article From News From Bangladesh archives
Stevens Technology for Arsenic Removal (STAR) along with three other technologies have been approved for nation-wide use by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of the Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project (BAMWSP).
Dr Xiaoguang Meng and Dr George Korfiatis, both professors of the Centre for Environmental Engineering of Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey, USA, developed the technology in 1997.
NGO Earth Identity Project (EIP) is implementing the STAR technology in Gulbahar, Kachua and Matlab thanas in Chandpur and Companyganj in Sylhet for the last one year. There are over 3,500 people under their projects. Gulbahar is the first "Arsenic Free Model-1" for NGO EIP. The NGO EIP brought the whole village under the safe water drinking project. Stevens Institute of Technology directly supervises the programmes. Water samples are regularly analysed at the Centre for Environmental Engineering of the Institute.
Dr Meng and Director General of NGO EIP Nasrine R Karim spoke at a press conference at the Gulshan Club yesterday.
Nasrine Karim said the government should quickly develop a strategy to cope with the arsenic problem. She said all the four technologies validated should be used in the field soon. Nasrine Karim said her organisation wanted to work with NGOs to spread the technology.
Earth Identity Project has developed social awareness, hygiene and community level training programmes.
Dr Meng said the STAR technology, which was based on ion, removed arsenic effectively along with all other heavy metals like lead, iron and chromium, microbes and hazardous materials from drinking water. He said the STAR technology was cheap, user friendly and effective. STAR costs Tk 550 for filter units and Tk 200 yearly for medicine for one family of seven persons.
Dr Meng said there was higher phosphate concentration in Bangladesh's ground water which made removal of arsenic difficult. He said the STAR technology had designed chemicals used in it specially targeting the water of Bangladesh. This technology brought down the level of arsenic in water below the WHO permissible level.
He said besides Bangladesh, the STAR technology was being used in the USA for the last 10 years. ( The Independent )
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