Around 20 million people in Bangladesh are drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic. Arsenic poisoning kills around 43,000 Bangladeshis every year, and the issue adversely affects the poor.
The arsenic contamination is naturally occurring, and it wasn’t realised this was an issue in the 1970s when the Government of Bangladesh constructed millions of tube wells across the country.
The United Nation’s World Health Organisation calls this ‘the largest mass poisoning of a population in history’.
Long-term exposure to arsenic-contaminated drinking water is linked to cancers of the liver, kidney, bladder and skin as well as heart disease and neurotoxicity.
The situation is exacerbated by further contamination of Bangladesh’s water system by noxious dyes from the country’s booming textile industry and agricultural pesticides, too.
The result is that many people across the country are resorting to buying water at exorbitant prices.
Our CAFE filter and social enterprise model will, therefore, have a significant positive impact in Bangladesh.