Bangladesh: agua no apta para el consumo

Buscando agua en Bangladesh

Bangladesh water may still be affected

A new UN and Bangladesh government report, marking World Water Day, has found that 20 million Bangladeshis could still be drinking unsafe water almost 20 years after the problem was first discovered.

Reporter: Mark Dummett

Listen to the story

The researchers found that arsenic continues to be a major threat to the good health of millions of Bangladeshis, almost two decades after the problem was first detected, despite a massive effort to provide safe drinking water.

They also found that rice, the country's staple food, can also contain potentially dangerous levels of arsenic, if the crop is irrigated with contaminated water, as happens in several parts of the country.

Ministers say that more research is needed on this and that people should not be alarmed.

Arsenic poisoning can cause cancers, heart and lung disease. It first became a problem in Bangladesh in the 1970s after the UN dug millions of new tube wells. The water that these wells tapped was contaminated with arsenic, and millions were affected in what the World Health Organisation termed 'the greatest mass poisoning in history'.

Mark Dummett, BBC News, Dhaka

Listen to the words

arsenic arsénico, un veneno potencialmente mortal

major threatgrave peligro

two decades dos décadas

staple foodalimento básico

potentially dangerouspotencialmente peligroso

irrigatedregado

contaminated (aguas) contaminadas / servidas

alarmed (la gente no debería) preocuparse, alarmarse

tube wellspozos profundos (desde donde se extrae el agua por tubos grandes)

mass poisoningenvenenamiento masivo