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Article From News From Bangladesh archives

Arsenic contamination takes serious turn in Chandpur

CHANDPUR, June 25: Arsenic contamination has taken a serious turn in Chandpur district recently.

This was disclosed by Md. Sadeq Hossain, Executive Engineer of the local Public Health Engineering Department, in an exclusive talk with this correspondent recently.

About 1.25 lakh shallow tube-wells of all the eight upazilas of the district have already been sealed as the waters of those contain arsenic beyond permissible limits which are very much harmful to human body, he added. He disclosed that on an average 98 per cent shallow tube-wells of the district are arsenic contaminated.

A survey shows that 96 per cent tube-wells in Hajiganj, 98 per cent tube-wells in Faridganj, Shahrasti and Kochua, 85 per cent tube-wells in Haimchar and 80 per cent tube-wells in Matlab Sadar and newly created Matlab North upazilas are arsenic contaminated.

It is officially learnt that at present 5,000 people, mostly old men, women and children have been suffering from arsenic-related diseases in all the eight upazilas of the district.

Of these upazilas Kochua, Hajiganj, Matlab, Matlab North and Faridganj are worst affected by arsenic.

There are six pourasabhas in the district. Of these, Chandpur and Hajiganj pourasabhas have arsenic free tube-wells in some limited areas only but the rest four pourasabhas have no arsenic-free tube-wells, said an official source.

Delwar Hossain, a PHED engineer of Chandpur, told this correspondent that over 300 people in Faridganj and over 1,864 people in Hajiganj upazilas have been suffering from arsenic-related diseases. He claimed that there are over 3,364 identified arsenic patients in Chandpur district adding that so far 5/6 people died of arsenic-related diseases in Hajiganj and Faridganj upazilas.

It is learnt that Parimal Majumder (30) of Shahapur village in Hajiganj upazila whose arsenic was first detected by Col. Jafar Sadeq, a specialist doctor of PG Hospital, Dhaka was the first man to die of arsenic a few years ago (correct date of death could not be ascertained).

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation and Water Supply (BAMWS), a project, sponsored by the Local Government and Rural Development, has conducted a door-to-door survey at Matlab, Faridganj and Hajiganj upazilas under pilot project and will soon launch a project titled "Rain Water Harvester in these upazilas, added the official source. (The Independent)

Copyright 1998 Global Amitech


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