Water Fit For Life

Friday, 19 February 2016 Water Fit For Life

The United Nations’ World Water Day is held on the 22nd of March and draws attention to the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in developing countries.

In the case of Bangladesh, a pressing issue facing communities is that many water sources contain dangerously high levels of arsenic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called it “the largest mass poisoning of a population in history.”[1] It is also estimated that around 80 million people living in Bangladesh are affected by arsenic and one in ten have the probability of developing cancer from the poisoning.

In 1999, women’s co-operative groups in partnership with a SIM project in Bangladesh requested that SIM test their local drinking water wells for arsenic. After confirming that there were indeed high levels of arsenic in their drinking water, SIM responded by starting the Arsenic Awareness and Alleviation Program (AAAP) in 2002 with the vision of seeing “everyone drinking water fit for Life.” The project has four primary activities: awareness raising, water testing, filter distribution, and patient care.

The United Nations’ World Water Day is held on the 22nd of March and draws attention to the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in developing countries.

 “Fifty times worse than Chernobyl…”

Richard Wilson, president of the nonprofit Arsenic Foundation and professor of physics at Harvard University commented in his research into arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh that the problem was “fifty times worse than Chernobyl” but “it does not have fifty times the attention paid to it.”

SIM is convicted that each person should be treated with dignity as image-bearers of God. It is this truth that compels SIM to minister to physical need by working toward the prevention and treatment of arsenic-related disease. As awareness of arsenic poisoning and access to safe drinking water increases, whole communities in Bangladesh are being transformed and can now face the future with optimism and hope. 

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Help people like Mrs Varsha to receive the medical assistance they need but can’t afford or access. Click here to make a tax deductible gift to our Community Transformation Fund (09320).  Comments
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