Article From News From Bangladesh archives
109 suffering from arsenicosis in Charghat UZ in Rajshahi
Abdul Wadood, Rajshahi
A total of 109 people have been suffering from arsenicosis in Charghat upazila, it has been revealed in the Screening Progress Completion Report of National Screening Programme (Phase II) conducted by Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project (BAMWSP) and Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE).
According to the report, a total of 1,50,729 people 77,748 males and 72,981 females, were surveyed in 54 wards of six unions. During the survey completed recently, 109 established cases of arsenicosis have been identified. Some 13,500 people have been at risk as they have been drinking arsenic-contaminated water everyday.
According to the survey report, there are now 11,169 hand-tubewells in operation. Out of the total, 1,000 tubewells have been identified as arsenic-contaminated.
An average number of 13.5 people depend on a tubewell for drinking water in 79 villages.
A total of 23, the highest number of arsenicosis patients have been found in Nimpara Union followed by 21 in Charghat union, 19 in Yusaffiur Union, 17 in Bhaya Laxmipur Union, 16 in Sahea union and 13 patients in Sardah union and 13 patients in Sardah union.
Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) sources said, the arsenic-free tubewells have been marked green and the arsenic contaminated tubewells have been marked red. People have been advised not to use arsenic-contaminated water.
"But they cannot but use arsenic-contaminated water in spite of knowing its harmful effects, as there is no alternative/source of water", said a DPHE official adding, "We are only screening out the arsenic-contaminated tubewells, but we are not arranging alternative source of drinking water for them. (The Daily Star)
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