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Arsenic menace takes serious turn in Jessore - 22 Jan 2003

Arsenic menace has taken a serious turn in Jessore district in recent times. The water of about 65 per cent tube-wells in the four upazilas of the district is contaminated with arsenic poison, it is learnt from a reliable source. Panic has gripped the people of the arsenic affected areas. They do not know how to collect arsenic free water from distant areas.

It is learnt from a source in the district Public Health Department that financed by UNICEF Asian Arsenic Network, EPRC, BRAC and some other non-government organisations (NGOs) have already completed examining hundred per cent government and public tube-wells under Sadar, Abhoynagar, Jhikargachha and Monirampur upazilas of the district.

Water of 55,564 tube-wells of Sadar upazila was tested. The water of 9,699 tube-wells was found containing arsenic poison. Of them 144 tube-wells belonged to the government. The highest number of 70 per cent tube-wells of Jhikargachha upazila were found containing arsenic. A total of 22,000 tube-wells were tested in Jhikargachha upazila.

Out of the tested total 44,300 tube-wells of Monirampur upazila, 51 per cent are contaminated with arsenic. Sixty per cent of the total tested 15,000 tube-wells of Abhoynagar upazila are arsenic contaminated.

It is further learnt that all the tube-wells of Poranpur village in Sadr upazila are arsenic contaminated. Most of the tube-wells of the village contain 0.5 per cent arsenic, which is above tolerable quantity. All those tube-wells have been red-marked.

Meanwhile, the government has sunk 1,031 arsenic free tube-wells including some deep tube-wells under the eight upazilas including 126 in Sadar upazila, 256 in Monirampur upazila, 171 in Sarsha, 125 in Keshabpur, 65 in Chowgachha and 51 arsenic free tube-wells in Bagharpara upazila. (The Independent)



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