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Article From News From Bangladesh archives


Arsenic detected in tube-wells water - 1 Mar 03

Arsenic beyond limit has been detected in the waters of 15,000 tube-wells in Rajarhat and Ulipur upazilas of the district. A total of 387 people have been identified as attacked with arsenic related disease. After the detection of arsenic in tube-wells waters, no pragmatic measures have been undertaken to find a solution to the menace during the last one year except the work of marking the tube-wells red and green under Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project through an NGO in collaboration with Public Health Engineering Department. The work involved lakhs of taka.

The people of the two upazilas after the marking of tube-wells started using waters from ponds, rivers and canals and were attacked with water borne diseases. At one stage, they removed the red marks from the tube-wells and began to use waters from them, exposing themselves to arsenic poisoning. The people, in fact, fell in trouble as no programmes were undertaken for the supply of safe water to the people after execution of tube-wells marking programme. The people did not know how to remove arsenic if found in the waters of the newly sunk tube-wells. Nor could they be certain about the existence of arsenic in the newly sunk tube-wells.

The correspondent during his spot visit to the arsenic affected areas found no red and green marks on any tube-wells. The local people told the correspondent that they were using waters from the tube-wells after removing red marks from those as they had no means to sink tube-wells anew. Informed sources said an NGO, BDSC started testing arsenic beyond limit in the waters of tube- wells in Rajarhat upazila under Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project since December 11, 2000. The NGO after examining 23,156 tube-wells in seven unions under the upazila found arsenic beyond limit in the waters of 4,534 tube-wells and identified 137 people as attacked with arsenic related diseases.

The programme of marking tube-wells green in Rajarhat upazila involved Tk 11 lakh. Besides, the NGO after examining 35,487 tube-wells in 13 unions under Ulipur upazila found arsenic beyond limit in the waters of 9,787 tube-wells and identified 250 people as attacked with arsenic related disease. The limit of arsenic in the waters of those tube-wells was 02.1 to 05.1. (The Independent)



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