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Article From News From Bangladesh archives

 

Arsenic contamination creates panic in Barisal

BARISAL, May 17: Arsenic contamination in the tubewell water has created panic in Barisal region in the recent times.

The people in rural areas have started using waters of ponds and rivers avoiding tubewells for fear of arsenic contamination. As a result diarrhoea has broken out in an epidemic form in the region.

It is gathered that waters of a large number of tubewells of Barisal region have been contaminated with arsenic. People drinking water from these tubewells have been attacked with arsenic-related diseases. Even arsenic claimed several lives in the region.

According to official sources, 1,829 people died of and about 2,50,064 others attacked with diarrhoea in Barisal division during the last eight years. Of the total, 26 people died of and over 16,000 others attacked with diarrhoea during the last two months, Dr. Hafizur Rahman, Director of Barisal divisional Health Department, told this correspondent in a recent interview. He, however, said that change of climate of this region is another cause of diarrhoea. Chairman of Southern NGO network, a federation of 40 local NGOs, Sarder Humayun Kabir also admitted the report. Diarrhoea came under control in Barisal division after 1993. But now it is totally out of control.

According to Barisal Health Department sources, the highest 1,021 people died of and 79,719 others attacked with diarrhoea all over the Barisal division in the year 1993, 118 died of and 22,799 were attacked with diarrhoea in 1994, 100 died of and 19,017 were attacked with diarrhoea in 1995, 108 died and 12,651 were attacked with diarrhoea in 1996, 99 died and 23,761 were attacked with diarrhoea in 1997, 92 died and 23,640 were attacked with diarrhoea in 1998, 147 died and 35,164 were attacked with diarrhoea in 1999, 118 died and 17,313 were attacked with diarrhoea in 2000 and 26 died and 16,000 were attacked with diarrhoea during the last three months of this year. (The Independent )


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