Article From News From Bangladesh archives
Arsenic contamination takes serious turn in Narail
NARAIL June 12 : Arsenic contamination has taken a serious turn in all the three upazilas of the district in recent times, reports BSS. The number of arsenic affected people is increasing in Narail district day by day. Kalia upazila is a severely arsenic affected area in district. About 85 per cent tube-wells in the area are marked with red paint to warn the people that the waters of these tube-wells are contaminated by arsenic, Md Ahsan Habib, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Kalia said.
In Kalia upazila the waters of 11,304 tube-wells have been tested, of which contamination of arsenic beyond permissible level has been detected in 8,507 tube- wells.In Lohagora upazila, waters of 1,023 tube-wells have been tested, of which contamination of arsenic has been detected in 696 tube-wells. In Narail Sadar upazila the waters of 1,269 tube-wells have been tested and of which contamination of arsenic has been detected in 499 tube-wells.
At least 55 persons have been affected by arsenic and 200 people are at risk of arsenic poisoning in this area, said a worker of local NGO, Unnayan.Besides, suffering from the effects of the disease, the people affected by arsenic are facing serious social problems. They are neglected or even hated by others as it is wrongly thought that the disease is infectious. Some people of this district are aware of the arsenic problem as they know the usefulness of rainwater harvesting. But it is very difficult to keep the rainwater clean as insects grow in it after some days, they said.
A few people have also started installing three-pitcher filter system for obtaining pure water. But they said this system works very slow and they have no time to maintain this.Tube-wells marked with green colour, meaning their waters are safe, are installed on school ground or health complexes that are far from the houses of rural people. So many of them have to bring water from the danger-marked red tube- wells. People of the district demand arsenic-free tube-wells for their safety. They become angry when they see health workers or outsiders coming to advise them. ( BSS)
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