Exposure to arsenic through groundwater has been a major public health problem in the World. More than 100 million people worldwide have been estimated to be chronically exposed to arsenic from drinking water containing high arsenic levels. The situation is devastating in Bangladesh that can easily be reflected via the number of affected people. Among the countries’ 7-11 million hand pumped tube-wells, approximately half have been estimated to supply groundwater with an arsenic concentration more than 50 microgram/L, which is the maximum level of arsenic allowed in drinking water.

People in Bangladesh become terror-stricken when they come to know that underground water in parts of the country is strained by deadly arsenic. The permissible level of arsenic in water is 50 ppb (Parts per billion) according to experts. But according to the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, the level of arsenic is between 150 and 200 ppb in tube-well water in Bangladesh. It is estimated that nearly 80 million people of Bangladesh are affected by arsenic and one in ten has the probability of developing cancer from the poisoning.

In Bangladesh, arsenic contamination in groundwater was first detected in the year 1993. According to the data provided by UNICEF in 2008, there are approximately 8.6 million tube-wells in Bangladesh. Of these, 4.75 million tube wells (55%) have been tested for arsenic among which 3.3 million (39%) were marked green indicating that the ground water is safe; while 1.4 million (16%) were marked red indicating that they are unsafe to use as sources of drinking water due to the high arsenic level,. Recent findings show that about 20 million people in Bangladesh are using tube-wells contaminated with arsenic over the permissible level (>50 ppb).

The arsenic situation in the district of Naogaon currently does not make any immediate danger to population of the district. But we should take pre-emptive measures to keep the water sources of the district free from the arsenic. And, with this view in mind, Naogaon Water would strive to create awareness among the citizens of the district about the health related dangers of arsenic in drinking water, with the help of local government health officials to test ground water and identify the presence of arsenic in the different sources of water in the district, and arrange ways to clean the water with scientific remedies to keep water safe for drinking.