Nalitabari people at high risk of arsenic

July 2, 2013

Alternative sources of water a dire need
Nalitabari people at high risk of arsenicThe people in Nalitabari upazila of Sherpur are at dangerous risk of arsenic contamination.
There are about 2.5 lakh people
in 12 unions of the upazila.
A considerable number of these people are at high risk of arsenic.
There are a total of 22,150 tube wells in the upazila.
Of them, water of 7,000 tube wells was examined and presence of arsenic was found in 1022 of them.
The arsenic contaminated tube wells were marked with red sign and those free from arsenic were marked with green.According to the public health directorate and upazila health department, the number of arsenic patients in Nalitabari upazila is now 26 while the number of suspected patients is 30.
Of the arsenic affected, 18 are in Sadar union of the upazila alone.
Women account for 30 per cent of the arsenic affected people.
The arsenic patients are given treatment at the upazila health complex.
But many people complained that they were identified as skin disease patients and not given arsenic treatment.
Recently, five such people went to Sherpur district hospital where they were diagnosed with arsenicosis and given cards for arsenic treatment.
On June 25, arsenic patients and their relatives formed human chain at Nalitabari Sadar Shaheed Minar demanding alternative sources of pure drinking water and proper treatment facilities from the government.
After the human chain, the demonstrators submitted a nine-point memorandum to UNO Abed Ali and the civil surgeon through the upazila health and family planning officer.
Apart from arsenic patients, local elite, journalists and officials of Karitas, a non-government organisation, joined the human chain.
Karitas Mymensingh region field officer Cladia Nokreck Keya, Press Club president MA Hakam Heera, journalist Samedul Islam Talukdar, Abdul Manna Sohel, UP member Zafar Ali and Rahat Hossain, among others, spoke at the human chain.
Nalitabari union member Zafar Ali, who is also an arsenic patient, said the arsenic patients do not get proper treatment at the upazial health complex and they urged the government to increase treatment facilities for this.
They also demanded alternative sources of pure water since tube wells of this area have become unfit for supplying pure water.
Nalitabari UNO Abed Ali assured that steps would be taken so the arsenic patients get proper treatment at the upazila health complex.

Courtesy of

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