West Bengal || Bangladesh
Middle Ganga Plain, Bihar ||
27 days detailed field survey information from April 1999 to February, 2000
School of Environmental Studies*
Dhaka Community Hospital
School of Environmental Studies
Bhajan Kumar Biswas (Analytical Chemist), Uttam Kumar Chowdhury (Bio-chemist), Ratan Kumar Dhar (Analytical Chemist), Debapriya Mukherjee (Statistician) Dipankar Das (Analytical Chemist), Gautam Samanta (Analytical Chemist), Gautam Kumar Basu (Geologist), Tarit Roy Chowdhury (Analytical Chemist), Badal Kumar Mandal (Analytical Chemist), Chitta Ranjan Chanda (Analytical Chemist), Dilip Lodh (Microbiologist and Computer specialist), Partha Pratim Chowdhury (Soil Chemist), Anil Kumar Chakraborty (Analytical Chemist), Khitish Chandra Saha(Dermatologist), Subhas Chandra Mukherjee (Neurologist), Partha Kumar Roy(Pathologist), Gouranga Pramanik(Neurologist), Mongol Chandra Moulic (Economist), Subhas Chandra Santra(Ecologist), Dipankar Chakraborti (Environmental Analytical Chemist and Environmentalist).
Sibtosh Roy (Pediatric), Abu Zafar (Dermatologist), Saiful Kabir (Dermatologist), Imtihaz Faruk (General Physician), Kazi Saiful Islam (General Physician), Md. Moniruzzaman Chowdhury (General Physician), Bashir Ahmed (General Physician), Anam Hossain (General Physician), Ram Dulal Bhowmick (General Physician), Mohammad Arif (Research Fellow), Ranak C. M. (System Analyst), Md. Salim (Field Attendant), Ashraful Alam (Field Attendant), Sohel Hossain (Field Attendant), Tapan Chowdhury (Field Attendant), Moshtafizur Rahaman Baka(Field Attendant),
In this report of 239 days field survey in Bangladesh during last five years, we will provide the following information :
(a) So far from Bangladesh we had analyzed 22003 hand tube-well water samples from 64 districts. Our result for five years, up to February 2000 shows that out of 64 districts in Bangladesh in 54 districts arsenic in groundwater is above 0.01 mg/l and in 47 districts above 0.05 mg/l. So far we have identified 918 villages where groundwater has arsenic above 0.05 mg/l. So far 32 districts had been surveyed for arsenic patients and in 30 districts patients with arsenical skin-lesions have been identified.
(b) So far we had analyzed in total around 11000 hair, nail, urine, skin-scale samples from affected villages (about 50% of samples are from those having skin-lesions and rest 50% from those do not show skin lesions). Over all around 90% of people have arsenic in their hair, nail and urine above normal level.
(c) All total 17896 people had been examined at random from the affected villages for patients having arsenical skin lesions and 3688 (20.6%) have been so far identified with skin-lesions We have their full identification and details of skin lesions.
(d) So far 833 deep hand tube-wells had been analysed for arsenic from all over Bangladesh (depth about 100 m to above 400 m) and in 181 samples arsenic has been found above 0.01 mg/l (21.73%) and in 76 samples arsenic has been found above 0.05 mg/l (9.12%).
(e) Arsenic from 15969 tube-wells had been analyzed with depth (6.4 m to about 400 m) from 47 affected districts having arsenic above 0.05 mg/l and the result clearly shows at the beginning about 15-20 m there is increase of arsenic in hand tubewells and then with increasing depth concentration of arsenic decreases. This is also valid for individual 47 affected districts where groundwater contains arsenic above 0.05 mg/l.
(f) From the information we had generated during field survey about number of users of 16410 hand tube-wells in 43 districts of Bangladesh, we made a simple calculation to know the number of hand tube-wells that exists in 43 districts. The calculated value shows that in 43 districts of Bangladesh where groundwater contains arsenic above 0.05 mg/l the number of hand tube-wells are 3.5 million.
(g) We have also calculated number of people exposed to arsenic contaminated water above 0.01 mg/l and above 0.05 mg/l from 43 districts and the values are 51 million and 25 million respectively.
(h) Do the arsenical skin lesions disappear with chelating agent, safe water, nutritious food and multivitamins!
(i) What percent of actual arsenic patients in affected villages we could really examine.
(j) We have evidences now from West Bengal, India that more and more tube-wells which were once safe to drink are getting arsenic contaminated.
Our report will also tell about 27
days detailed field survey information from 159 Villages highlighting
Even after 5 years field survey in Bangladesh, we feel we have seen only the tip of iceberg of the actual calamity. More we are surveying more and more affected area and people suffering from arsenical skin lesions are coming to limelight.