Many of the millions of people in Bangladesh who are being poisoned
by arsenic-tainted well water could be spared by simply using water from nearby
uncontaminated wells, according to a study by researchers from Bangladesh
and the United States.
While only about half of the nearly 5000 wells in the Araihazar district
met Bangladesh standards for drinking water, 88% of people with tainted wells
lived within 100 m of a safe well, and 95% within 200 m, the researchers discovered.
While simple in theory, however, there are potential social barriers to achieving
wide-scale well switching. Most wells are privately owned, and women are discouraged
from venturing unaccompanied beyond their bari, or
cluster of related households.
Stephenson J. To Stretch or Not to Stretch?. JAMA. 2002;288(14):1708. doi:10.1001/jama.288.14.1708