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Article From News From Bangladesh archives


Arsenic contaminated tube-well waters create panic - 21 Sep 2002

Sept 20: Arsenic contaminated tube-well waters have created a panic among the people in all the eight upazilas of the district.

According to Chandpur Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), about 50.000 people of the district have been attacked with arsenic related diseases. The PHED has already started testing the proportion of arsenic contents in tube-wells waters throughout the district. With limited resources, the PHED authority is unable to tackle this alarming situation. Arsenic pollution in tube-wells water has been spreading fast in Fridganj, Hajiganj, Matlab (N), Matlab (S), Shahrasti, Kachua, Haimchar and Chandpur Sadar upazilas of the district. A large number of people have been suffering from arsenic related diseases for a long time. So far, the PHED authority has examined about 1000 tube-wells in different areas of the district and found arsenic contamination in the waters of most of the tube wells. The PHED authority has so far sealed off about 1000 tube-wells with red warning signboards. More tube-wells are likely to be sealed off very soon. World Health Organization (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 tube-wells water is extremely dangerous for public health. Tests of arsenic contamination in drinking water at SDC laboratory of PHED, Dhaka cost Taka 300 to Taka 500, which is impossible for the general public.

The Executive Engineer of PHED, Chandpur told BSS that steps are being taken to examine different tube wells in all the eight upazilas of the district. Due to the arsenic contamination in the tube-wells water many people are drinking boiled water.  - BSS



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