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 and implementation 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 aims to establish 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.
We previously reported on the stories of two women suffering from the social stigma caused by the symptoms of arsenic poisoning, or arsenicosis. Many people believe arsenicosis is contagious or that it is a curse. Parents are reluctant to let their children play with children suffering from the poisoning and patients can be shunned within their villages. Continue reading
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
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.
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
Interdisciplinary Student Research
By Ralien Bekkers, Esmee Kooijman, Alexander van Dorssen
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