IN ASIA

Weekly Insights and Analysis

Water Security and Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh

March 18, 2009

By Seema Khan

The toxic effects of arsenic contamination have been affecting the health of millions of people around the world, including in India, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and even the United States. In Bangladesh, where roughly half the population drinks contaminated water, this issue is a particularly heavy concern. The problem arose in the 1970s during efforts to provide an alternative to surface water, which is often highly contaminated with bacteria. Millions of tube wells were built in hopes of bypassing the bacteria-contaminated surface water and by accessing what was thought to be clean water. Unfortunately for the millions of Bangladeshis relying on tube wells for their water supply, many of the wells were found to have unearthed water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic. Read more about this issue on Give2Asia’s blog.

Seema Khan is a Finance Associate with Give2Asia. She can be reached at [email protected]. The below was originally printed in Give2Asia’s blog, Giving Forum.

Related locations: Bangladesh
Related programs: Environmental Resilience, Strengthen Governance

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In Asia is a weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia's development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of over 70 renowned experts in over 20 countries, In Asia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

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