We have been dedicated to promoting social projects in Bangladesh since 2016. This currently includes the construction of deep wells, which promote clean and free drinking water for the rural population.
In the Ganges Delta, some of the upper groundwater sources are contaminated with arsenic. These are natural arsenic deposits in the soil and not a man-made problem. Since most wells were unknowingly drilled to insufficient depths beginning in the 1970s, WHO estimates that there are between 35 - 70 million chronically poisoned people in Bangladesh today. Chronic arsenic poisoning (arseniosis) first eats away at the skin, can lead to various tumors as it progresses, and can eventually lead to death.
The problem can be circumvented by drilling wells at least 90m deep - these are called deep wells. At this depth there are groundwater resources which are not contaminated with arsenic.
Having been active in this field since 2016, we wanted to expand our reach in 2020, so we launched a collaboration with renowned professor Dr. Kazi Matin Ahmed from the University of Dhaka. Based on scientific data, Dr. Ahmed has created a kind of map to organize the construction of new wells in the country in a targeted manner. In this way, old wells are promptly replaced by new deep wells and new wells are built where they are most needed.
We bear the costs incurred for the construction of the deep wells. The wells will be built at central places in the village so that as many people as possible have access to them. The construction work is organized by Dr. Ahmed and carried out by local companies. Afterwards, the students test the new deep wells for proper installation. The students will bring the knowledge gained back to the faculty as part of their work.
Somewhat delayed by the Corona Pandemic, we were able to construct the first 5 wells in the spring of 2021. Subsequent laboratory testing revealed no elevated levels of arsenic and the salt concentration in the well water is also safe. Further deep wells are already being planned.
The average cost of a deep well is €1,000. These costs include not only the cost of materials but also an appropriate wage for the workers. Also included are travel and food costs for the students. They do not receive a salary for their work, neither from us nor from the university. Their work is done as part of their studies and the scientific knowledge gained is incorporated into the faculty of geology. Our association members regularly try to travel to Bangladesh to see our projects for themselves. All travel and food costs are paid by the members of the association themselves!