One in eight people in Bangladesh drink water from wells which have dangerous levels of arsenic. This is a frightening reality that countless Bangladeshis have to live with on a daily basis.
Arsenic, which is colourless, tasteless, and odourless, can lead to devastating outcomes for entire populations, causing the likes of cancer, skin lesions, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
What is encouraging to see, however, is that the government has taken an initiative to tackle the problem, which would fight the problem at the grassroots level.
It is important not only that the water is tested, but that the people drinking the water are aware of the dangers of arsenic poisoning, and are provided with alternatives.
Though the government has put forth initiatives before, they lost momentum and were unsuccessful.
This cannot be allowed to happen again.
With 5% of deaths in the country coming from arsenic poisoning, and its long-term effects well known, it is crucial that, this time round, we tackle this problem head on.