IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Searching for an optimum solution to the Bangladesh arsenic crisis

  • Caldwell, Bruce K.
  • Caldwell, John C.
  • Mitra, S. N.
  • Smith, Wayne
Registered author(s):

    Searching for an optimum solution to the Bangladesh arsenic crisis: Thirty years ago Bangladesh experienced very high levels of infant and child mortality, much of it due to water-borne disease in deltaic conditions where surface water was highly polluted. In what appeared to be one of the great public health achievements, 95% of the population were converted to drinking bacteria-free tubewell water from underground aquifers. Recently, it has been shown that perhaps 20% of this water is arsenic contaminated and alternatives to tubewell water have been sought. This paper reports on two national surveys collaboratively carried out in 2000 by the Health Transition Centre, Australian National University and Mitra and Associates, Dhaka: A census of tubewells and a household survey of tubewell use and arseniosis. The study found that the tubewell revolution has been promoted not only by health considerations but also by the demand for a household water facility and the desire by women to reduce workloads associated with using surface water. Because of this, and because the population had absorbed the message about safe tubewell water, it is argued that the movement away from the use of tubewell water should be as limited as possible, even if this means using safe tubewells which are often found in the neighbourhood. To enable such a move the most urgent need is not changing the source of water but comprehensive national water testing providing essential information to households about which wells are safe and which are not.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 10 (May)
    Pages: 2089-2096

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:10:p:2089-2096
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:10:p:2089-2096. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.