Two million Nepalis hit by arsenic: Study

Himalayan News Service

Nepalgunj, May 16:

Two million Nepalis are affected by arsenic, according to a recent study conducted by IDS-Nepal in 20 districts of the terai.

Amar Chand, coordinator of IDS-Nepal, an organisation working in the field of drinking water and sanitation, said five per cent of the 500,000 water taps tested had arsenic contamination. The Drinking Water Department, Nepal Red Cross Society, Nepal Water for Health have been conducting arsenic tests.

First arsenic test was conducted in Morang, Sunsari and Jhapa in 1998 followed by Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi and Kapilbastu.

The Nepal Red Cross Society and Japanese Red Cross Society had found high level of arsenic in the water of mid-terai, Chand said. Meanwhile, IDS found water samples collected from 615 sources had arsenic beyond the international standards.