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Article From News From Bangladesh archives

Rising arsenic contamination, community based national programme suggested - 11 Dec 02

World Bank (WB) country director Fredrick T Temple yesterday emphasised formulating a comprehensive community based national programme to mitigate the rising arsenic contamination in the country.

Like the success of the Oral Rehydration Saline (ORS) programme, Temple wanted the arsenic mitigation problem to succeed.

He was exchanging views with local journalists here at Pabna Community Clinic (PCC) auditorium this afternoon after inaugurating the eight day long celebration of the clinic's 12th anniversary and victory day. Correspondents of different national and local dailies were present at the meeting.

Appreciating PCC activities in detecting arsenic contamination in the district, Temple also suggested the government consider encouraging private sector enterprises like the PCC in the mitigation programmes.

"A community based system as the PCC can serve as the model for fast solutions to problems ", he opined.

The country representative of WB, however, came down heavily upon the government's role in arsenic mitigation.

Expressing his disappointment, he said the government failed to deal with the problem promptly due to lack of seriousness on their part.

Replying to a question, the WB country chief said shortcomings of government programmes and lack of national approach were the causes of poor results nation wide.

The government could not even formulate a well-coordinated idea to work with the US $ 32.6 million WB aid on the arsenic sector. Last September, the time for framing ideas was extended up to June next year.

"If the government cannot make good use of the extended period, WB will be forced to withdraw its aid ".

Earlier in the morning, the country chief of WB participated in a colourful rally focusing the eight-day celebration of PCC. His wife Linda Temple accompanied him in his visit to the northern district.

Later, Temple inaugurated the celebration at the PCC premises.

The inauguration ceremony was also addressed among others by former ambassador Mohiuddin Ahmed, Tapan Chowdhury, President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industries Dr Monwarul Azim with Dr Quazi Quamruzzaman, chairman of PCC, in the chair.

The week long celebration include discussions, meetings, blood donation programmes, cultural and games competition, fair and other functions. - The Daily Star

Copyright 1998 Global Amitech


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