Staff Correspondent: Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Tajul Islamsaid that the Department of Public Health Engineering has tested arsenic in about 5 million tube wells in 261 upazilas of the country, out of which about 14.5 million or 29 percent of arsenic has been found in the water of tube wells.
Arsenic has been detected in 8 million tube well water through 3300 Union Parishads and NGOs in 335 upazilas across the country.
He said this in response to a question from Member of Parliament Habibur Rahman on Tuesday (June 21).
In response to another question Tajul Islam said the Department of Public Health Engineering under the local government department is installing rainwater harvesting systems including plants in the coastal districts to remove salinity and hundreds of solar powered sand filters and sanitation systems including digging and re-excavation of ponds.
He said the department has been implementing projects in the coastal districts for the last one decade to ensure safe water and sanitation for the coastal areas. Notably, a project has recently been approved to provide rainwater harvesting in coastal districts at an estimated cost of Tk 16,165.52 crore. Under the project, a total of 26,062 rainwater harvesters are being set up in 10 coastal districts (Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Barguna, Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Gopalganj, Jhalokati, Pirojpur, Patuakhali). Besides, excavation of 64 ponds has been completed in these districts and excavation of 623 ponds is in progress.
Md. Tajul Islam said the Department of Women’s Affairs, Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and UNDP Bangladesh jointly managed to increase the adaptive capacity of the coastal population, especially women, to tackle salinity due to climate change at an estimated cost of Tk 26,671 million.
Under the project, 13,308 family-based rainwater harvesters, 216 community-based rainwater harvesters, 19 institutional based rainwater harvesters and 41 pond based water filtration systems are in operation in 5 upazilas of Khulna and Satkhira districts.
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