As reported in a previous post, is important to place the arsenic problem in a broader public health context. Supported by WaterAid Bangladesh, AMRF implemented water and sanitation facilities at Shologhar A.K.S.K. high school. On March 16, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Sreenagar, Munshiganj Ms. Shahanara Begum inaugurated these facilities. District education officer, Upazila education officer and Upazila secondary education officer, local leaders and CBO representatives were also present. The UNO said that “water and sanitation are essential for healthy life. We always appreciate these kinds of activities as well as hope these will continue for next of years to the rest of unions”. Upazila secondary education officer expressed his pleasure to know about these activities and urges others organizations to do same.
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
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
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.
There are many cases in which the water supplies installed in the past by other organisations are not up to standards. There may be issues with their construction or their maintenance. Many of these existing water supply sites could be improved, but community control and maintenance must be facilitated and encouraged. Here are a couple of examples. Continue reading
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.
In Bangladesh, October is national sanitation month. Nearly 350 children die every day in Bangladesh due to poor sanitation. In a previous post we reported on our activities around Global Handwashing Day. Click on the image to see more photographs of our activities during sanitation month. They included rallies, discussions, school sessions, quiz competitions, demonstrations, cartoon show on hygiene, musical and theatre shows.
Please have a look at our photo collection organised by activity.
1. Testing and screening