Malda, West Bengal

We have worked with Calcutta Rescue on a project in India over 3 years which benefits 9,000 people and this is a little bit more about it.

Malda is a rural district in the North of West Bengal, India, near the border with Bangladesh, where arsenic is leaching out of the bedrock into wells and bore-holes.
Since the problem was identified in the 1990s many people in the area have developed skin lesions associated with chronic arsenic poisoning, which can also cause cancer, organ failure and, ultimately, death.

Calcutta Rescue has installed arsenic filtration units in a dozen villages, which are currently providing drinking water for 2,100 families.
The maintenance and regular testing of the arsenic filtration wells is being funded by Everywell – which is ensuring that the water they are drinking is safe and meets the standard laid down by the World Health Organisation.

Dr Jack was always ahead of the game. It was no different when the WHO reported on mass arsenic poisoning via drinking wells, (Arsenic contaminates water as it is drawn up).
Soon after the report, CR set up the Malda Arsenic Project, installing simple arsenic filters along side water pumps to give safe, arsenic free, drinking water to hundreds of families.
During the Covid Crisis, though the water filters still operated, it was difficult to keep up with the maintenance & local community contact.
Earlier this year the CR MAP Team visited each individual Water Filter Station, drawing up renovation plans & discussing the project with Villagers, schools & local leaders.
Work started immediately, with repairs being carried out, stations being painted & new signage put up.
Much of the work has now been completed, including the building of a new WFS, named “DR Jack ’93” – In honour of our Founder’s latest Birthday.
The Team’s latest visit, (with the help of a rickshaw with large megaphone!), involved re educating local schools & villages in the importance of drinking Arsenic free water.
The visit also included Team Training, discussing such things as the importance of the Arsenic Awareness Programme for schools & villages, the high standard of maintenance & record keeping and good Team communication.
The local response from CR’s latest work has been very positive & thousands of people continue to drink safe, arsenic free water, thanks to project’s efforts.
A “Well Done” to the MAP Team, and a big thank you to the Every Well Water Foundation for their continued support of such an important, successful project.
by Piers Skinner – a UK plumber and CR volunteer who inspected all the filters in February and helped draw up the plans for the refurbishments.

In a warming world, water poverty is an ever increasing problem.

Every donation to Every Well is appreciated and goes straight to specific projects in places of most need.

Please Give