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81 pc Bhanga HTW's arsenic affected, Faridpur workshop reveals

FARIDPUR, June 8:A day-long workshop on "Community based arsenic mitigation action research project" jointly organised by Faridpur District Administration and Department of Public Health Engineering in collaboration with UNICEF was held on Wednesday at Faridpur Zila Parishad conference hall, reports BSS.

The workshop was organised to review the progress of arsenic mitigation activities in Bhanga Upazila of this district where arsenic problem is very much alarming.

According to workshop sources, in Bhanga 91 per cent Hand Tubewell (HTW) is arsenic affected. Out of 21300 HTW, 19127 HTW are arsenic affected and its water consists very high rate of arsenic beyond human consumption.

Dhaka Community Hospital has already identified 488 arsenicosis patients in Bhanga Upazila the sources added.

According to a paper presented by the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Bhanga several mitigation committees were formed from Upazila level down to village level for motivational purpose.

Dr Shahadat Hossain, UNO, informed that vigorous campaign regarding arsenic problem and mitigation measures have been going on in the area jointly by UNICEF, DPHE, BRAC and Upazila Administration.

The UNO from the experience in Bhanga Upazila informed that several options for arsenic free Mater were executed and he suggested Deep Tubewell (DTW) water is the best solution for Bhanga. According to UNO only the water of 103 DTWs functioning in Bhanga is arsenic free.

Mr Shafiqul Islam, team leader, arsenic unit of UNICEF also elaborately described the ferocity of arsenic and suggested several options for safe drinking water. These included Pond Sand Filter (PSF), Rain Water Harvesting (RWH), three pot filter and community based arsenic removal plant.

Among others, Dr Rafiqul Islam, Faridpur Sadar THFPO, M Mostafizur Rahman, XEN of DPHE also spoke on the occasion.

M Ismail Jabiullah, DC of Faridpur inaugurated the workshop while the inaugural session was presided over by M Mozaffar Ahmed, XEN of PHE, Faridpur.(BSS)

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