Millions of people in Bangladesh still drinking arsenic-laced water | Global development | The Guardian
Nearly 20 million Bangladeshis are still drinking water poisoned with high levels of arsenic despite millions of wells being tested and hundreds of thousands of safe ones having been bored to avert a major health crisis, a new report has suggested.
The lack of progress in improving what the UN’s World Health Organisation called “the largest mass poisoning of a population in history” in the 1990s is blamed on government nepotism, rich country neglect and NGOs losing sight of the problem, says Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Latest estimates suggest 43,000 people in Bangladesh die each year from arsenic-related diseases. These include skin lesions, cancers, and cardiovascular and lung illnesses.
Safe drinking water disappearing fast in Bangladesh
According to the government, 5 million village wells were tested between 2000-03, with pumps painted red or green according to whether they were safe or unsafe. In 2003, an estimated 20 million people drank arsenic-laced water.