By Syed Altefat Hossain
DHAKA, April 09, 2018 (BSS) - Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) has launched an initiative to install four state of art community-based solar powered plants to provide safe water through pipelines filtering arsenic and iron contents in aquifer.
"The plants will be installed in four selected areas by the next one year as a model initiative to free water from arsenic contamination and iron contents", BCSIR's senior scientific officer Dr Mohammad Nazrul Islam Bhuiyan told BSS.
Bhuiyan, who has been tasked to coordinate the initiative, said Japan Development Construction (JDC) Corporation provided the technology and finance for the project to be executed by BCSIR, which was currently working to select suitable areas for installing the plants.
He said the technology called JaPani would isolate from the water the toxic arsenic to be used in ceramic industry or brickfields to fortify further the construction materials.
He said BCSIR, however, decided to install one of the four plants in Dhaka as a projection plant while the rest three areas would be selected considering to what extent those were exposed to arsenic and iron contamination.
The official said BCSIR took the scheme expecting it to be replicated across the country through municipal, community or private initiatives.
Bhuiyan said BCSIR and JDC Corporation two weeks ago inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to install the pumps while each of the pumps would supply water to 100 to 150 families through pipelines.
"Under the MoU, we are now collecting water sample for selecting the suitable sites to install the model plants . . . JDC Corporation will bear all expenditure for setting up the plants," he said.
He said the initiative was based on a previous field survey on the effectiveness of the 'JaPani' technology in Bangladesh in mitigating arsenic problem while it was found to be cost effective, environment-friendly and capable of recycling the waste water.
"We already informed the Department of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE) about the technology and requested them to use it in arsenic prone areas," Bhuiyan said.
DPHE earlier found presence of arsenic in aquifer levels in 61 out of 64 districts.