Re: Open Letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,NFB Thank you proffesor Syed Ahsanul Alam for sharing your ideas with the honorable prime minister through yourMessage 1 of 2 , Jan 11, 2009View Source
Re: Open Letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,NFB
Thank you proffesor Syed Ahsanul Alam for sharing your ideas with the honorable prime minister through your open letter on January 7, 2009. We all love our country and, like you, many of us are prepared to help the people and the govt. of our motherland Bangladesh. I think many expartiates are also capable of helping our nation in their own professional areas. Furthermore, I believe that Bangladeshi expartiates are capable of working with local experts staying in foreign countries. They can work with local Bangladeshi experts through various modes of media very effectively.
Ihave been conducting research on the arsenic disaster of Bangladesh for about a decade. This is a life and death problem of our nation. In 1997 when the prime adequate resources and lack of well trained experts to mitigate the problem. Millions of people have been drinking on a daily basis. Thousands of people have suffered from numerous arsenic related diseases and the problem is growing each day on a bigger scale. What is the solution to the problem? Every Bangladeshi should think about it.was in power, she initiated an investigation to find solutions to the problem. She could not complete her investigation because her party lost the election to the BNP. The prime minister Begum was also very active to find the solution to the problem. During her time, her govt. took many major initiatives to solve the problem. The BNP govt. could not solve the problem mainly due to the lack of
is again in power and before the election she declared that her govt would solve the arsenic problem as soon as possible. Can her govt. solve the problem with the existing resources of the country? What does she need to do to find a solution to the problem now?
Her govt. should form a council taking experts (geologists, engineers and scientists) from the Bangladesh Water Development Board, Agricultural Development Corporation, Department of Environment, River Research Institute, Dept. of Public Health and Engineering, , and other relevent departments who are directly involved on the surface and related problems. In the USA, the corps of engineering plays a major role related to surface water resources. If the Bangladesh Army does not have such expertise to work with the above mentioned departments on a regular basis, we think the Prime Minister should form an environmental team within the Army Corps of engineering in order to work with these departments on a regular basis.,
What should these Council members do to find a permanent solution to the problem?
They will have to review all available investigative reports to find the source and cause of the arsenic disaster. Without knowing the root cause, no one can develop a permanenat solution to the problem. No one has studied these factors as of yet with adequate data and evidence.
What should they do now to provide arsenic free water to the arsenic affected areas?
They will have to review all the govt. and non govt projects currently operating to supply arsenic free water to the arsenic affected communities. They will have to throughly examine each type of arsenic removal filters and treatment units and abandon the ones that indiscriminately dispose toxic waste in violation of the EPA regulations. The indiscriminate disposal of arsenic waste is causing and will cause numerous man-made disasters such as air pollution, contamination of soil and sediments and the destruction of aquatic organisms/fishes, poultry products, agricultural products etc. Therefore, the govt. of Bangladesh needs to develop arsenic waste disposal regulations for disposing arsenic waste from arsenic removal filters and treatment units as soon as possible. If the improper disposal of arsenic waste is allowed to continue, then the entire civilization, ecosystem and environment of Bengal delta will be in great danger due to improper disposal of arsenic waste within a few decades.
Can the present govt. protect the public health, ecosystem and environment from the arsenic disaster with the countriy's existing resources?
No, but they can significantly increase the supply of arsenic free water to the communities if they change and modify the management policy. Currently no one is concerned or assuming the responsibility for managing arsenic waste generating from arsenic removal filters and treatment units. In developed countries, the promoter of the filter is usually responsible for providing the adequate information concerning the filtration system and it's waste management, but in Bangladesh arsenic waste disposal is mistakenly not considered an issue. Some promoters of the arsenic removal filters are misleading the govt. of Bangladesh and the filter users by asserting that arsenic waste disposal on soil in open atmospheric conditions is safe. This is unarguably a problem considering the fact that this method is in violation with the EPA regulations and against the scientifc laws and principles of geological, hydrological, hydrogeological, geochemical, biological, toxicological, climatological and medical sicences. In June 2008 in an interview with Channel-I, the interviewer Dr. Fazlul Alam asked me a question concerning whether we Bangladeshi experts can form a team and address the arsenic problem on our own. My answer was yes. We can address the preblem with the help of the USA. Bangladeshi experts need higher training in the USA because the US is one of the top leaders ofand technology.
Meer Husain, P.G.
Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment
Team Leader-Wichita Area Technical College(WATC) International arsenic, Water, Ecosystem and Environment Research Center,.
Re: Open Letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Why do we need an environmental team within army corps of engineering when there is an environmental ministryMessage 1 of 2 , Jan 19, 2009View SourceRe: Open Letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Why do we need an environmental team within Bangladesh?when there is an environmental ministry in
The environmental department of Bangladesh is not well equipped and lacks the capacity necessary to adress the environmental concerns of the entire nation. The Army Corps of Engineering is well organized, well trained in many areas and as a result it will be very easy for them to work with other organizations as mentioned in my previous post. Like the US Army Corps of Engineering, the Bangladesh Corps of Engineering should be involved and engaged in public work services to the people of Bangladesh. Their principal goals in public service should include:
Planning, designing, building and operating locks and dams, flood control, beach nourishment, and dredging for waterway navigation.
Designing and constructing flood protection systems.
Environmental regulation and ecosystem restoration.
Each year in Bangladesh, floods, environmental disasters in Bangladesh., destruction of levees, and huge deposition of sediments in the river bed are common environmental problems. In order to maintain a healthy ecosystem and environment, the government should reorganize the environmental teams and provide them with adequate training and resources. In June 2008, I explained in a press conference at the Dhaka National press club how the US Corps of Engineering is involved in various environmental sectors and working with other govt. agencies by maintaing each agency's dutities, responsibilities and leadership. We think the Bangladesh Corps of Engineering should be involved in the above mentioned areas as soon as possible in order to help maintain and restore the country's thousands of years old natural ecosytem and environment. The govt. should take immediate steps to train both army and civilian environmental agencies to combat
Lesson from Prophet Mohammad:
[According to the 1955 Year Book Of Agriculture:
Prophet Mohammed saw water as an object of religious charity. He declared that free access to water was the right of every Muslim community and that no Muslim should want for it. The precept of the Holy Koran, “No one can refuse surplus water without sinning against Allah and against Man," was the cornerstone of a whole body of social traditions and of regulations governing the ownership, use, and protection of water supplies. All persons who shared rights to a watercourse were held responsible for its maintenance and cleaning. The whole community was responsible for the care of large watercourses. Cleaning was to start at the head of the stream or canal, descending in order to each waterside family. All users shared the cost in proportion to their irrigation rights”.]
Bangladesh is a riverine country. Many rivers have already disappeared due to the accessive siltation and many have significantly lost their storage capacity. Like Prophat Mohammad, the govt. of Bangaldesh can reorganized its man power and resources to maintain a normal and natural river flow by cleaning the dead and clogged rivers. The entire nation should be involved in the cleaning process under the leadership of well trained and knowledgeable professionals. The cleaning job should be conducted each year. According to the US Geological Survey, surface water and groundwater are considered a single resource. Therefore, in order to protect the public health from waterborne diseases, we have to maintain a healthy ecosystem and environment in Bangladesh.
What are the problems of indiscriminate disposal of arsenic wastes and why has the Bangladesh govt. allowed the indiscriminate disposal of arsenic waste?
The indiscriminate disposal of arsenic waste is causing and will continue to cause numerous environmental problems such asand the contamination of soil and sediments, surface and groundwater resources, aquactic organisms and fishes, poultry products, agricultural products, public health, ecosystem and environment of Bangaldesh. These are proven scientific facts and as a result, the US EPA and other developed nations have prohibited open disposal of arsenic and other . There are several reasons behind the improper disposal of arsenic waste in Bangladesh:
Until recently, Bangladesh never suffered from arsenic related problems. The country does not have well trained professionals to fully adress the problem and as a result they have approved and allowed the indiscriminate disposal of arsenic wastes from Sono filters and other arsenic removal filters and treatments units.
Many foreign and Bangladeshi scientists have articulated to the Bangladesh govt. that arsenic waste disposal in lake, rivers, low lands and soil in open condition is safe. As a result, Bangladeshi scientists and policy makers have approved open dumping of arsenic wastes.
Some of the scientists without proper institutional training and working experience are involved in collecting and interpreting geological, geochemical, hydrogeological data related to the mechanism of arsenic contamination, and arsenic waste management. Thus, they are presenting incorrect information and misleading the people of Bangladesh and scientific communities around the world regarding the cause of arsenic disaster and solution to the problem.
The Bangladesh govt. should take immediate measures to stop unprofessional activities that are being done by some scientists, because incorrect data and unprofessional articles, lectures, activities and leadership perpetuate and augment the actual problem.
We have raised important questions about the arsenic waste disposal method of Sono filters and other filters and treatment units in Bangladesh, because the method violates the EPA regulations and the scientific laws and principles of geological, hydrological, hydrogeoloigcal, geochemical, biological,toxicological, climatological and medical sciences. We have provided these scientists with numerous examples and data that explain the detrimental aspects of the open dumping of toxic arsenic waste, but they are still active in promoting the improper arsenic waste disposal method. They are sucessfully ignoring the harmful side of their filters and have convinced the govt. of Bangladesh, NGO's and others to implement and promote their dangerous products..
What are the problems with the Sono filter's and other arsenic removal filter's open disposal of arsenic waste? If this disposal method is outlawed by EPA regulation and in violation with the scientific laws and principles, why did the National academy of Engineering approve the Sono filter's arsenic waste disposal method? How did the National Academy of Engineering approve the Sono filter's arsenic waste disposal method if it violated the United State's EPA arsenic waste disposal regulation? Should the Bangladesh govt. follow EPA regulation or continue to allow and follow Sono filter's arsenic waste disposal method?
Meer Husain, P.G.
Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment,
Team Leader-WATC International Arsenic, Water, Ecosystem and Environment Research Center, .