The other name of life is water – a fact that is very often ignored by the supplier of this essential element. Presence of harmful substances in drinking water is a major cause of fatal diseases among inhabitants of both rural and urban areas. It is alarming that Bangladesh ranks 86th among 142 countries in the quality of drinking water. According to a Unicef report, two out of every five households still drink water from contaminated sources.
It has been learnt that a large section of people across the country are exposed to severe health hazards due to contamination of drinking water with arsenic, pesticides and other harmful elements. Ensuring safe drinking water is a basic healthcare need which we have largely failed to fulfil.Open sources of water are highly exposed to pollution due mostly to dumping of solid and liquid wastes and indiscriminate use of pesticides and other chemicals on crop fields. Though there are abundant water sources, there is hardly any containing water to quench the thirst.
Underground water is contaminated with arsenic and poses health hazards to millions. Awareness about arsenic contamination is not adequate which often causes to aggravate the situation. And due mainly to faulty water supply pipe networks, urban people do not get safe drinking water in exchange for their payments.
Bottled and jar-filled water widely used in offices is far from the quality and value people pay for. Marketing of unsafe water continues in violation of the consumers' rights. This anomaly with the life-saving ingredient continues for long under the nose of the authorities.
Though the government has taken some steps for supplying pure drinking water in urban areas, it still lacks arrangements to ensure adequate supply of the same. The danger of diseases is right in the essential element for saving life. The time has come to take comprehensive steps to make certain the easy access to pure drinking water for all.