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.
“An interdisciplinary approach to resolve arsenic poisoning of rural poor Bangladesh”
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 →
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.
For our program we argue that a safe water supply must go hand in hand with long-term medical support and primary health care. This lesson is clear from past experiences. Shallow tube-wells were introduced alongside many other public health interventions (including, for example, Oral Rehydration Therapy). Continue reading →
Ventura Water, in partnership with Patagonia, presented awards to the winning films of the 2013 Water: Take 1 online short film contest during a special community celebration, hosted by Brooks Institute a few days ago. More than 150 attendees watched as the $1,500 Grand Prize, sponsored by Patagonia, was awarded to our film “Water Collaborations”. It was chosen from the top 10 finalist films by a distinguished jury of entertainment and environmental professionals. See the full news message here. As mentioned earlier, most of the prize money will go towards funding our Campaign: An ambulance for our community clinic (the rest towards making more films!).
AMRF conducted a project induction workshop on November 17, 2013 at the office of the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) in the Sreenagar Upazila (the government chief executive of a sub-district). The UNO attended as the chief guest while the Executive Director of AMRF chaired the workshop. The Upazila Health & Family Planning Officer, Upazila Agricultural Officer and other government officials, teachers, civil society representatives, Imam and journalist joined the workshop. The objectives were to: improve government collaboration with project activities; encourage participation of different concerned actors; present our organisation and project; and consider external suggestions and recommendations.