|Figure 1. Arsenic Education team (from the left): Monira Sultana, Nishat Raihana, Taslima Khanam, Anowara Begum, Shahena Begum.
We worked with six high schools and found the students to be very interested in our message, with high attendance and lots of questions at our presentations. Also, at each school, we had many volunteers to make measurements of arsenic concentration at wells near the schools. Our team trained the students how to make the measurements and gave them the test kits. As a result, we got arsenic concentration measurements at 20 to 30 wells in the neighborhoods of most of the schools. We found that two of the schools, Sitakunda High School, and Teriail High School, had very high arsenic concentrations (150ppb) at the school wells. This was a surprise result for the students and the teachers at these schools. They didn’t realize that they had been drinking water contaminated with arsenic.
|Figure 2. Skin effects by drinking arsenic contaminated water.
A detailed report on our work during Stage 1 of our project (Sept 2014 through Dec. 2014) can be found on our Indiegogo site. Since January 2015, our work in Bangladesh has been led by Anowara Begum and Shahena Begum, and their priority has been to form partnerships and funding relationships so that the project can be sustainable on a long term basis. They have been joined for two months this summer by Adam Cooper, an American student from Stetson University in Florida.
Accomplishments so far have been:
1. Several Bangladesh Rotary Clubs have agreed to fund the replacement of arsenic contaminated wells at the two high schools discovered in Stage 1 of the project, and this will bring clean water to 4000 people.