As you are probably aware, arsenic was identified as a health risk in the mid-nineties in Bangladesh. Since then, a lot has happened and the team is well aware of the challenges and solutions.
WaterAid tests each water point for arsenic before handover to the communities (and that is quite an achievement - last year had about 14,000 water points were tested). Most interventions involve rehabilitations, but in the relative small number of new water points, deeper boreholes are made, striking the arsenic-free aquifers. In the communities where access to arsenic free water is not possible, WaterAid strives supports filters, though they are difficult to maintain.
The sprouts of all water points that are arsenic-free are painted green and those contaminated are painted red and communities are well aware that they are only to be used for other purposes such as hygiene and irrigation etc. Let me know if you need more detailed answers.
Regional Technical Advisor South Asia
If you want advice on arsenic removal then Prof Bhaskar Sengupta may be a good person to contact. He is an environmentalist specialising in water issues and has focused on arsenic remediation. He developed SAR (Subterranean Arsenic Removal Technology).
The World Health Organization (WHO) regional office for South East Asia (SEARO), New Delhi has done extensive research in collaboration with AUS-AID and published useful technical manuals on this issue. It would be advisable to contact WHO-SEARO for further information or assistance.
Jagdish Barot, Ph.D.
Former Regional Adviser-WASH, WHO-SEARO
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