The Pure Drinking Water and Sanitation Program started in 2008 in the wake of the devastation from the 2007 South Asian Floods. Bangladesh’s groundwater is naturally contaminated with arsenic. Monstrous flooding ravaged cities and villages, left thousands homeless and compromised already scarce sources of suitable drinking water.
Arsenic contamination in drinking water contributes to waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea, leading killers of children in Bangladesh. Prolonged exposure to arsenic causes cancer of the lungs, skin and bladder in addition to reproductive problems and many more life-ailing conditions.
With the help of sponsors and US Congress, we have installed 287 arsenic free tube wells and 600 sanitary latrines (ground toilets) in Bangladesh (as of January 2015), primarily in the Earpur project site in Noakhali. In conjunction with Columbia University Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Dhaka, MAAWS has also assisted in conducting arsenic contamination testing in our project area.
With the opening of the MAAWS Health Complex, we have also started a hygiene education program for primary school aged children. MAAWS plans to plant more tube wells, conduct more testing and research and increase education about the dangers of arsenic poisoning.
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