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Arsenic detected in 8,000 tubewells in Munshiganj

MUNSHIGANJ, Mar 29: Arsenic beyond tolerable limit has been detected in the waters of 8,000 shallow tube-wells in Louhajang and Gazaria upazilas here.

About 10,000 tube-wells have been lying unexamined in the ten unions in both the upazilas and as such arsenic contamination could not be detected in the waters of these tube-wells. Of them, 76 are deep and 16,000 are shallow tube-wells.

According to a source in the upazila Public Health Engineering Department, examination was conducted on 1676 deep and shallow tube-wells two years ago and arsenic beyond tolerable limit was detected in the waters of 1550 shallow tube- wells. Arsenic has been found in the waters of 96 per cent of shallow tube-wells.

The government has allocated 31 ADP aided deep tube-wells for the supply of safe water in the area. The waters of 10,000 tube-wells could not be examined for want of necessary equipment and medicine.

The people, in the absence of alternative arrangement are using water from the ponds.

On the other hand, Sohag, a NGO after conducting examination detected arsenic beyond tolerable limit in the waters of 7,000 tube-wells in Gazaria upazila. The upazila Public Health Engineering Department authority informed that examination was conducted on 9,399 government and non-government tube-wells under eight unions in the upazila. Arsenic beyond tolerable limit was detected in the waters of 7,000 tube-wells. The depths of these tube-wells range from 150 to 180 feet. The union wise number of tube-wells in whose waters arsenic has been detected is 785 in Hossaindi, 523 in Baluakandi, 1256 in Bhoberchar, 1469 in Baushia, 434 in Guagachia, 1202 in Imampur and 1002 in Gazaria unions.

NGO Sohag after conducting arsenic examination marked arsenic affected tube- wells red to make the people aware. Despite that the people in the absence of alternative measures are drinking arsenic contaminated water.

About 183 people attacked with arsenic related diseases have been found in the area. Of them, 74 are male and 109 are female. The government has allocated 25 deep tube-wells for supply of safe water in the area.

A deep water tank has been set up on the compound of Wajir Ali High School in Bhober Char union in Gazaria upazila with the financial assistance from a donor agency in Holland. Safe water from the tank can be supplied to an area covering one kilometre. (The Independent)



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