40 years Bangladeshis absorb high arsenic dose. According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released on Wednesday, 20 million poor Bangladeshis continue to drink contaminated water with arsenic, twenty years after the discovery of this toxic chemical element in water supply from the country.
43,000 deaths annually
According to the HRW report , the contamination is such that it kills each year about 43,000 people, mostly in rural areas of the country . Regular absorption of arsenic can lead to cancers, diabetes but also of cardiovascular diseases.
The contamination of the water goes back to the 70s when the government decided to dig shallow wells to provide drinking water to these villages without realizing that the floors were heavily impregnated with arsenic naturally.
the government in question
According to this new report, Bangladesh was unable to take the necessary steps to remove the contamination. “Bangladesh does not take the basic and obvious steps to rid drinking water feeding millions of poor rural areas of arsenic,” said Richard Pearshouse HRW AFP.
“This is a policy approved by the government. Parliamentarians have any possibility of misusing their power and install these wells to benefit their supporters rather than in non-arsenic-contaminated areas” denounced a government source. The World Health Organization (WHO) had ruled in 2000 that Bangladesh was experiencing “the largest mass contamination of history” with the arsenic crisis.
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