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Article From News From Bangladesh archives

Donors not interested in safe water projects: Mannan Bhuiyan  - 8 Aug 02

Minister for Rural Development and Cooperatives Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan yesterday said that the donors were interested in carrying out experiments and sensitise people, but they were not much interested in safe water projects and to pinpoint ways to solve the arsenic problem.

He said this while speaking at the launching ceremony of the " Bangladesh State of Arsenic 2001" and "Bangladesh Arsenic Chitra 2001," two publications of the Forum of Environmental Journalists of Bangladesh (FEJB).

The Minister said "If things go on in this manner, it will require many more years to find a solution". He said that people were aware enough about arsenic, but that effective mitigation measures were the prime need of the hour.

State Minister for Environment and Forest Jafrul Islam Chowdhury and Environment and Forest Secretary Sabihuddin Ahmed also spoke at the function. FEJB Chairman Qumrul Islam Chowdhury presided over the meeting.

Mannan Bhuiyan said that safe water was a fundamental right and that the mere marking of tube wells red and green would not solve the problem. He added : We have no clear idea about the treatment of arsenic victims and what measures we can take to stop the menace.

The Minister said that to provide safe drinking water in the Barind region the government was planning to introduce deep tube wells in the area using the existing irrigation infrastructure along with laying emphasis on increased surface water usage.

State Minister for Environment Jafrul Islam said that Bangladesh would apprise the world community about the arsenic situation in Bangladesh at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), to be held later this month in Johannesburg. - The Independent

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