Installation of River Sand Filter in Jadupur Village, Pabna District

Project Installation of River Sand Filter in Jadupur Village, Pabna District
Objectives

• To provide safe arsenic-free water to the arsenic-affected community in Pabna District • To encourage community participation in the River Sand Filter (RSF) system

Project Partners Dhaka Community Hospital (DCH)
Activities

• Installation of the RSF unit and pipeline network • Water quality testing • Training of caretakers of the unit and hand over of tools • Arsenic patient management – distribution of multi-vitamin and ointment to 150 confirmed arsenic patients

Locations Jadupur Village, Pabna District
Period May 2011 - May 2012
Accomplishments

• RSF unit completely installed (with the filter, storage tanks and 30 tap points) together with the setting up of electric water pump • Medication and ointment distribution to patients with arsenic poisoning symptoms

Background
Some 70 to 80 million people in Bangladesh are at
risk of diseases ranging from skin lesions, skin cancer,
hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases
and many other, due to their exposure to arseniccontaminated
water. High concentrations of arsenic in
water are suspected to exist in 41 districts out of 64 in
total. The arsenic (As) in the groundwater is of natural
origin and is released from the sediment into the
groundwater owing to the total decrease in the level of
oxygen condition of the subsurface.
Although there are other alternative safe water options,
installation of an RSF unit in an area where there is a
flowing river i.e. Jamuna River, is deemed feasible and
able to provide long-term solution to the people living in
that area.

MERCY Malaysia efforts
The installation of the RSF was conducted with greater
emphasis on community involvement. As such, efforts
were made to mobilise community members to join in
the programme and to form a Management Committee.
Subsequently, trainings were conducted for the
caretakers of the unit to ensure that the filtration system
is well taken care of in the long term.
With such high amount of arsenic contamination in the
water, cases of arsenicosis or arsenic poisoning due to
long term exposure to arsenic in drinking water, is rather
widespread. To counter the poisoining, multi-vitamin and
ointment are being distributed among the community
members. The distribution has been conducted since
June 2011 and will continue untill May 2012.