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Kanpur NGO-Japan varsity to adopt arsenic prone villages

Written by: Staff

Kanpur, Apr 5: A non-government organisation in collaboration with Miyazaki University of Japan and Asian Arsenic Network (AAN) will adopt three arsenic prone villages of Balia district of Uttar Pradesh.

Executive Secretary of the NGO ''Eco Friends'', Rakesh Jaiswal, said here yesterday that it will adopt Chaichapura, Hariharpur and Sawarvan villages, with financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for initiating integrated arsenic mitigation measures over a span of two years.

Mr Jaiswal further said there were more than 50 villages in Balia district, which were arsenic prone and the ground water there contained maximum level of arsenic, resulting in swelling in legs, and spots on body of the local population, besides weakening of body systems.

During the first phase of the multi-stage initiative the three villages will be adopted, where villagers would be supplied arsenic free water. Efforts will also be made on generating awareness among the villagers about the ill effects of arsenic contaminated water, he said.

The villagers would be medically examined by a team of doctors and health care systems will be put in place in these villages, where local youths would be given basic training in dealing with the arsenic triggered human disorders, he added.

The teams of Miyazaki University and ''Eco Friends'' visited at least 12 of the 50 arsenic prone villages spread in five blocks of the district between January 7 and 10 last.

The two year pilot project will be further extended to other villages of the district where arsenic was ''slow poisoning'' human life, Mr Jaiswal said.

He said after the test of ground water contents, it was found that it contained .08 mg to .20 mg arsenic per litre against the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms of .01 mg in per litre of water.

The Executive Scretary said the team consisting representatives from Miyazaki Universiry, AAN and ''Eco Friends'', met Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam officials, King George Medical University doctors, Central Ground Water Board officials and UNICEF officials at Lucknow on March 21 and 22 last and urged them to collaborate with these agencies to solve the problems of arsenic contaminated water.

Mr Jaiswal informed that the Central Ground Water Board has drilled four exploratory wells to study the presence of arsenic at various depths in the arsenic affected villages of Balia district and these wells would be handed over to the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam later.

The Nigam would develop these wells into tubewells and ensure safe drinking water supply in the affected villages through piped water supply system.

However, he lamented that the entire process would take minimum of two years and till then these villagers would be drinking arsenic contaminated water.


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