Arsenic tainted water tragically affects 13 million people in West Bengal, India. Arsenic poisoning leads to lesions, diarrhea, vomiting, cancers &, often, death. This Blue Planet Network project is funding our member, Project Well, to build arsenic-free wells & provide hygiene education in Nadia, a district in West Bengal. Project Well has successfully worked with villages in West Bengal since 2001. Clean water leads to better community health and more children, esp. girls, back in school.
Drinking water from shallow and deep borewells is plentiful in the villages of West Bengal, India. This water may look good, but it is contaminated with lethal arsenic. Arsenic sediments in the Ganges Valley come from naturally occurring geological formations in the Himalayas. Thousands of people have died here from arsenic poisoning and many more are ill. Villages cannot prosper when most of the community is sick and kids, esp girls, can't go to school. Water is the vital source for life.
The Blue Planet Network member, Project Well, will build 8 modern bore-dug wells for the Gaighata community & conduct hygiene education. Most Project Well water sources are conventional dug wells, with a modified design that reduces bacterial contamination. The wells are constructed at carefully selected sites and fed by rainwater to prevent arsenic contamination. Wells are also protected from external contamination by a net cover and a tin roof. Water is withdrawn using traditional hand pumps
Sustainable safe drinking water is the most important thing a community can create to build better lives. Arsenic-related deaths and illnesses will be greatly reduced in this community of 200 people. Children will be healthy enough to stay in school and get an education that can lead to better lives. Women will be freed up to start home-based businesses. Each village will be able to spend more money on improving the lives of its people rather than pay for their hospital stays.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Blue Planet Network
West Bengal, India Slideshow
Photography by Rudi Dundas
Photography by Chris Majors