UNICEF Encourages Overseas Safe Water Campaign

Feb. 27, 2000
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is helping Bangladesh to provide safe drinking water to the 24 million people exposed to arsenic contamination, a skin disease- and cancer-causing element. ``We are collaborating with the government in its effort to ensure safe drinking water to the 24 million people exposed to arsenic contamination in Bangladesh,'' said Shahida Azfar, UNICEF's Bangladesh representative. Last October, Bangladesh appealed for international aid to solve the problem including the launch of a national screening program to supply arsenic-free drinking water. Contamination has spread to 29 percent of the 51,000 tubewells.Many residents are forced to continue using contaminated water despite its effects because of the lack of alternative resources. UNICEF is helping with tests and looking for alternative water sources. The agency also supports the training of 1,600 medical officers and 5,000 field health workers and assists the government in water pollution awareness.(Source: United Nations Children’s Fund)

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