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Article From News From Bangladesh archives

Drinking water acute in Comilla due to Arsenic contamination

COMILLA, June 4 (BSS): Due to arsenic contamination of groundwater, the people of five upazilas of the district are facing an acute crisis of pure drinking water.

The ground water in the upazilas of Muradnagar, Chandina, Debidwar, Homna and Daudkandi has been contaminated beyond safe level forcing the people of the areas to survive on alternative sources.

Of the total 13 upazilas of the district, 12 were identified as the arsenic prone areas. Most tubwells (including deep tubwells) in the areas were sealed as arsenic was detected in the tubwells beyond tolerable limit of human consumption.

According to available statistics, as many as 350 people have been suffering from various complications in the districts due to arsenic poisoning.

Different NGO's and offices of the government have been trying to provide pure drinking water to the affected people through different programmes.

But the efforts are inadequate against the requirement, said villagers while talking to BSS correspondent at village Putia under Daudkandi upazila.

While visiting different projects in the district undertaken by local NGOs with the financial support of NGO Forum recently, this correspondent found that Centre for Community Development Assistance (CCDA), a local NGO, is providing pure drinking water to the people through its BTU (Bucket Treatment Unit) and RWHT (Rain Water Harvesting Treatment).

The CCDA has so far distributed 200 buckets among 600 families in Nagarpur, Kaliganj, Putia, Adampur and Tampa and constructed 31 RWHT plants so far to ensure arsenic free pure drinking water to the villagers.

Asked about the success of the programmes, Mr. Samad, Director of CCDA, said these programmes are very much scientific and we can get arsenic from pure drinking waters by applying the methods of BTU and RWHT plants.

He said the monetary involvement in the BTU project is very minimal as your need only two buckets and some medicine, which are being supplied by CCDA for the purpose.

"The awareness of the people is very much important in this regard as people are not conscious enough about arsenic contaminated water," he said adding that some NGOs along with the government have undertaken massive programmes to make people conscious about arsenic poisoning. (UNB)

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