Introductions

Featured

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.


peopleandwater27 Latest news

Short study on the social impact of arsenicosis

Screening patientsWe 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

Digest 06/2014: Arsenic in the news

newsdigestPlease have a read through this news digest of recent online publications on arsenic.

Risk substitution with well switching

Millions of households throughout Bangladesh have been exposed to high levels of arsenic (As) causing various deadly diseases by drinking groundwater from shallow tubewells for the past 30 years. Well testing has been the most effective form of mitigation because it has induced massive switching from tubewells that are high (>50 µg/L) in As to neighboring wells that are low in As. A recent study has shown, however, that shallow low-As wells are more likely to be contaminated with the fecal indicator E. coli than shallow high-As wells, suggesting that well switching might lead to an increase in diarrheal disease. Continue reading

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

ipvietnam

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