The problem at a glance

Contamination of groundwaters with arsenic poses a major health risk around the world, but it is in Bangladesh that the worst mass poisoning in history is taking place. Millions of rural poor are drinking water containing high levels of arsenic. Although the problem has long been recognised, little has been achieved to resolve it. Among the few projects that are being implemented, even fewer have managed to reach the poor and to bring about lasting results. The urgent and complex character of the arsenic crisis requires an integrated and participatory program that links research with project activities in a manner that reflects the priorities of local communities.

An 8-minute video introduction

Please see here for the full 1-hour video documentary.

Who we are

The Arsenic Mitigation and Research Foundation (AMRF) is a joint effort between academic researchers, medical doctors and development practitioners. Our program combines research and project activities with the aim to implement safe water and health support systems in several highly arsenic-affected and marginalised communities, and to derive lessons from these experiences for replication elsewhere in Bangladesh and in other countries facing similar challenges.


Latest news

Joshna and Latifa struggle with the stigma of arsenicosis

Short report prepared by: Md. Zahangir Alam, Union Supervisor, Shologhar, Munshiganj.

Joshna (25) comes from a very poor family. She got married eight years ago and now has two children. Joshna grew up in one of the most arsenic affected areas in the Munshigonj district. From her childhood, she has been drinking arsenic contaminated water. Continue reading

Featured in the ‘Water: Take 1′ newsletter

After winning their short film award, we are now grateful for featuring in Ventura Water’s ‘Water: Take 1′ newsletter. The contest presents water-themed short films – narrative, documentary, comedy, drama, animation, live action – to a jury made up of leaders in water and environmental issues, entertainment professionals and influential members of the community. The contest reopens in September this year.

A heuristic approach for arsenic mitigation in Bangladesh

Interdisciplinary Student Research

By Jorian Bakker, Kennard Burer, Martijn Kamps, Anne Kervers

Since the problem identification of arsenic contamination in Bangladesh, several mitigation options have been tried to provide safe drinking water. However, they have not had the intended effect yet. Often policy makers do not take local characteristics thoroughly into account. We have focused on creating an integrative tool that policy makers may use heuristically to choose the most feasible mitigation option when arsenic concentrations exceed the Bangladesh National Standard (BNS) in groundwater. A tool was designed that incorporates the key considerations and local conditions for developing arsenic mitigation policy in Bangladesh. This tool was composed using certain key-criteria that are absolutely necessary to take into account when assessing which mitigation method is most feasible on a specific location. This tool is the final product of interconnecting key-criteria. Continue reading

Arsenic contamination in the Mekong Delta: a looming danger for the food system?

Interdisciplinary Student Research

By Ralien Bekkers, Esmee Kooijman, Alexander van Dorssen


Figure 1

In the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, arsenic contamination occurs from natural sources. Arsenic levels can be as high as 300 times the recommended value set by the World Health Organization. Next to arsenic poisoning through drinking water, arsenic also accumulates in the food system through irrigation, causing further health- and socioeconomic impacts on local communities. The problem has not yet been resolved and insufficient research has been conducted on the effects of arsenic accumulation in the food system. Continue reading

An interdisciplinary approach to resolve arsenic poisoning of rural poor Bangladesh

Interdisciplinary Student Research

By Imme Groet, Hugo van Mens, Martijn Savenije

Chronic arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh through contaminated drinking water results in a major public health burden, especially for the rural poor segment of the population. Arsenic was first detected in the groundwater in the 1980s in West Bengal, India. Several studies by different scientists have been performed and solutions have been proposed. Many attempts have been made to resolve the problem. However, the problem still remains unresolved for large parts of the rural population. No single discipline succeeded in finding a solution. The problem contains many different facets that are the domain of various disciplines. Thus an integrated approach is necessary to understand and eventually resolve the problem. Continue reading

Free of arsenic and yet contaminated tube-well

In one of the villages, we found an arsenic-safe shallow tube-well to be contaminated by microorganisms. In was constructed in 1998 and the top part of the galvanised iron (GI) pipe had worn out, allowing contamination from dirty surroundings. Facilitated by our staff, villagers organised its rehabilitation. This highlights the importance of regular water quality monitoring, which should be in the hands of communities. Please click on the photo to enlarge.