Dangerously high levels of arsenic have been detected in the water supply in Chittagong, Bangladesh’s busiest seaport city. Authorities, however, have yet to take action.

The Daily Star reported on Monday April 2nd, that tube-wells in Chittagong contain contaminated water with arsenic levels that are ten times higher than safely acceptable. According to the article, the low-income population is most at risk due to their dependence on the wells for daily life. Sadly, users of the wells had no knowledge of the contamination.

The Daily Star has commendably taken the journalistic initiative to expose the truth. The newspaper reports that no one has taken responsibility for the high levels of arsenic in the tube-wells. Rather than sealing the wells and informing the affected population, the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) have avoided blame by placing the responsibility on each other. The CCC believes that it is the PHED’s responsibility to seal the tube wells. An official of the PHED, who asked to remain anonymous, stated, ‘“We have no role in sealing tube wells in the city area”’.

One can only hope that The Daily Star’s attention to the issue will push someone to action.

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The Daily Star