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Article From News From Bangladesh archives

50,000 suffering from arsenic poisoning in Chandpur

Arsenic-contaminated tubewell water have created a panic in all the eight upazilas of the district.

According to Chandpur Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), about 50 thousand people of the district have been suffering from arsenic-related diseases.

The PHED has already started testing the proportion of arsenic contents in tubewell water throughout the district. But with limited resources, PHED is unable to tackle this alarming situation.

Arsenic pollution in tubewell water have been spreading fast in Faridganj, Hajiganj, Matlab (N), Matlab (S), Sharasti, Kachua, Haimchar and Chandpur sadar upazilas. About 70 per cent tubewells in the district are arsenic-contaminated.

So far, PHED has sealed off about 1000 arsenic contaminated tubewells in different areas. More tubewells are likely to be sealed off very soon.

The World Health Organisaton (WHO) set the tolerable limit of arsenic contamination for Bangladesh at 0.05 mg per litre of water. Samples collected from different parts of the districts indicated that the high percentage of arsenic contents in the tubewell water is extremely dangerous for public health.

The affected villagers urged the government to take appropriate measures to protect them from arsenic-related diseases.

In most of the affected villagers, people are compelled to use the water of arsenic- contaminated tubewells, as there is no other alternative source of drinking water.

According to PHED, surface, rain, river and pond water are free from arsenic contamination. Water of deep tubewells under 500 feet are also free from arsenic. Public Health Engineering Department at Chandpur has undertaken a comprehensive scheme to install 1000 deep tubewells at a cost of Tk 2 crore and 88 lakh.

About 500 deep tubewells have already been installed in different villagers of the district. (BSS)

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