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Health - November 9, 2023

94 pc restaurants’ water contains faecal bacteria

May cause of life-threatening diseases

Zarif Mahmud: Water is the essential element of life. But drinking contaminated water can cause people to suffer from various diseases and even death. A study by the Public Health Institute on the quality of water in the capital Dhaka has revealed various information. In the study, faecal bacteria were found in 94 percent of the water used in sidewalk tea shops and restaurants in Dhaka city.
Apart from this, 44 percent of the water contains other bacteria and 29.4 percent of the water contains heavy metals in excess of acceptable levels. Experts say that the infection of these harmful bacteria and metals can make people suffer from life-threatening diseases.
In the study, 150 samples were randomly selected from 50 wards of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and 96 samples were collected from 32 wards of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). These samples were collected from roadside tea shops and restaurants. The collected samples are brought to the cooling process to ensure accurate data in the study. In just two incidents, testing of water samples collected at the Public Health Institute’s National Food Safety Laboratory began.
This research conducted on the water of Dhaka residents started from August 2020 to March 2021. Sample collection in March and April 2021, sample review in April and May and report prepared and finalized in June. However, the results of this study have not been officially published or disseminated.
In this context, the Director of Public Health Institute Professor Dr. Nasir Uddin Mithu said, “When this research was conducted, I was not in this institution. Apart from that, when the research was completed, the country’s corona situation was at an alarming level. Hence it is not published or disseminated. But research is important. Because from this a clear idea about the water of Dhaka has been obtained. If safe water can be ensured, it is possible to reduce the illness of Dhaka residents to a large extent.
Former Chief Scientific Officer of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Mushtaq Hossain said, urbanization has increased in the country, but safe water resources have not increased. Because of this, the city’s floating people take water by piercing the fresh water lines. If the water pressure in the pipe is low, it causes the sewage to mix. Waste contains the deadly harmful bacteria E-coli. By using this contaminated water, germs of deadly diseases such as stomach ache, hepatitis, jaundice, typhoid etc. enter the human body. Drinking unsafe water not only harms people’s health, but also makes them poorer. Few of those who get sick after drinking this water show symptoms. But inside, the digestive system is severely damaged and faces serious illness.
According to the study, 31.4 percent of the water collected by shopkeepers in the capital is from rickshaw-vans, 28.8 percent from motor vans, 19.9 percent from deep tube wells, 14.7 percent from WASA and 5.1 percent from other means. Water is collected.
Faecal coliform (E-coli, the bacteria that causes abdominal pain and diarrhea) was found in 94 percent of DNCC and DSCC water samples. The study found aerobic coliforms (bacteria mixed from air to water) in 44 percent of samples from Dhaka North City. 40.6 percent of such bacteria were found in the South City sample. In addition, 13.4 percent of the water samples were found to contain excessive heavy metals. Among them, iron was found in 46.8 percent of the samples. The presence of zinc was not found in these samples but the presence of arsenic was noted.
Pathologist Dr. Mushtaq Hossain said, those who supply water in jars in the name of filtered water, are basically cheating. Because this water quality is not filtered. Legal action should be taken against them. The World Health Organization and UNICEF noted in a 2014 report that 700 million people in the world lack access to safe water. The United Nations declared water as a fundamental right in the 2002 Declaration of Human Rights. SDG target number 7 also included the guarantee of safe water.
Incidentally, the first water supply in Dhaka through pipelines started in 1875. Nawab Khwaja Abdul Ghani implemented this modern project in Dhaka at that time. After gaining independence from the British rule in 1948, the responsibility of Dhaka’s water supply and sewage system fell on the Pakistan Public Health Engineering Department. Since the establishment of Dhaka WASA in 1963, it has been fulfilling the responsibility of providing water and sewage to the residents of the capital.

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