- Topic: Arsenic Contamination in Drinking Water of Bangladesh: Problems and prospects for its mitigation-a case study of Kachua Upzilla, Chadpur, Bangladesh.   click here to open paper content2336 kb
by    Rahman, Golam & Matin, Abdul & null, null | grahman@urp.buet.edu   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Topic: Arsenic Contamination in Drinking Water of Bangladesh: Problems and prospects for its mitigation-a case study of Kachua Upzilla, Chadpur, Bangladesh.

The paper aims at understanding the Arsenic contamination of drinking water in Bangladesh and attempts to show the extent and depth of this catastrophe. Currently I am supervising the above thesis on arsenic contamination for a Master’s program.

With the progress of information technology, globalization process and deregulation's may provide a basis of co-operation and assistance in mitigating the problem where potentially 70 million people (out of total population of 140 million) are in the grip of arsenic contamination from water drawn from million's of tubewells originally installed for shortage of drinking water. The paper provides the focus on the severity of the problems faced mostly by the rural population and to prepare mitigation strategy to impress upon the government and N.G.O’s including WHO, CARE, UNICEF, OXFAM and others.

A detailed primary database with secondary information is used to identify the problems in its spatial locations to the context of the village, household identification with nearest neighbor index and the threshold population of the tubewell.The topic would be presented in written format based on supported data, maps, charts, slides and video presentation as well as other means to depict the problems. In the initial phase, the introductory problems and methodology broad objectives and other methods adopted in undertaking the basic survey and information will be presented. The nature and extent of arsenic contamination of Bangladeshi rural villages, where about 76 percent people are living and where the tubewells supply water from shallow aquifers which have been known to be arsenic contaminated. According to latest survey information of the government and non-government organization’s about 59 upazillas's (district town's out of 64 in Bangladesh) are marked as arsenic contaminated areas, whose total land area is about 87,390 sq. kilometers. In the study area most of these people are living at great risk, being affected by arsenic (about 98%). Ground water being a rechargeable resource, excessive withdrawal of groundwater from deep acquifers may have adverse impact both in the deep as well as the shallow aquifers. Bangladesh is blessed with ground water resources but it is not unlimited due to the complex hydro-geological conditions. The problems of contamination of ground water by arsenic or other toxic element is gigantic and complex. Considering the water sources available on the surface and in the sub–surface, the supply of safe water for drinking and other purposes are difficult. Hence a large-scale treatment plant to remove arsenic from water will ensure sustainable mitigation of arsenic problem. All possible ways and means will have to be adopted to save the lives of the people in the affected areas.
This thesis is undertaken on my advice as a professor in the Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, BUET.
This paper will be presented in the Market place session: Open Platform.

Dr. Golam Rahman, Prof. Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh and President, Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP). Email: grahman@urp.buet.edu Fax: 880-2-8613086, 880-2-8613026.

The paper aims at understanding the nature of arsenic contamination from shallow tube wells originally installed to overcome the shortage of drinking water in rural areas of Bangladesh. About 57 million people out of 140 million (76% being rural) are effectively in the grip of this catastrophic problem.
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