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ARSENIC POLLUTION IN SOIL AND GROUNDWATER OF BANGLADESH

IWRA World Water Congress 2003 Madrid Spain
IWRA WWC2003 - default topic
Author(s): M. HAMIDUR RAHMAN & Hiroaki ISHIGA* Department of Geology and Mining
University of Rajshahi
Bangladesh. *Department of Geo science
Shimane University
Shimane 690
Japan. Contact e-mail: mhrahman@librabd.net

M. HAMIDUR RAHMAN & Hiroaki ISHIGA* 
Department of Geology and Mining, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. 
*Department of Geo  science, Shimane University, Shimane 690, Japan.  Contact e-mail: mhrahman@librabd.net



Keyword(s): Aquifer Provenance, Arsenic, Contamination, Groundwater, Hydrogeological Settings, Geochemical occurrences
Article:

Abstract

The scientists of Rajshahi University together with Research Group for Applied Geology (RGAG) and Asian Arsenic Network (AAN) of Japan suspect that groundwater of about 56 districts out of 64 districts are seriously contaminated with arsenic. There are 11Million tubewells in Bangladesh out of which about 5 Million tubewells are highly arsenic contaminated. About 75 Million people of the affected districts are at risk and the total number of patients suffering from Arsenicosis are about 7000 and out of which about 200 persons already died. To give safe water to the peoples more investigations in the whole country is essential. The source of arsenic in groundwater of Bangladesh is as yet unknown. But it is now widely believed that the high arsenic levels in the groundwater in Bangladesh have a natural geological source which may be due to abstraction water from Quaternary confined and semi-confined alluvial or deltaic aquifers. Groundwater in Bangladesh from sandy alluvial deposits are considered to be arsenic free. It is essential to consider the groundwater occurrences, its distribution and geological and hydrogeological settings of the country for the mitigation of arsenic problem. To know the basic understanding of the source and mobility of arsenic it is essential to investigate the sampling depth and aquifer provenance. Present study will give some clue about the future action plan for the mitigation of the arsenic problem in Bangladesh. The result of investigation have been discussed. To save these huge population of the area all sorts of international help are essential. If precautionary measures against arsenic contamination are not taken immediately consequences like death of many people will be inevitable and massive. A awareness raising about the issue among the people should be the first step for precaution.

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