Email: s029214 @matsu.shimane-u.ac.jp
Arsenic contamination of drinking water has recently become a matter of great concern in the world, and safe limits in drinking waters are often exceeded. It is now known that arsenic causes both acute and chronic toxicity in the body after ingestion of arsenic-containing water or other foodstuffs. Many countries have been affected by arsenic poisoning. In south Asia, India and Bangladesh are already affected from such contamination. The Terai region of Nepal is no exception.
Groundwater is the major drinking water resource for the people of the Terai area, where 47% of the total population of Nepal live. About 90% of the Terai population in use ground water for drinking, and two million people are reported to be affected by As contamination. A number of NGOs and INGOs have carried out studies aimed at quantifying the As contents of the groundwater and epidemiological impacts but no any detail work especially in the geological aspects has been done so far.
The aim of my research at Shimane University is to conduct a geological and geochemical investigation of arsenic contamination in the Nawalparasi district. This district lies about 300 km southwest of the capital Katmandu, and is one of the areas most severely affected by arsenic contamination. Water and soil samples will be collected and tested in the field. Any samples testing positive for As will be subjected to further analysis by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. It is expected that this study will determine the source of the arsenic and associated elements, along with the release mechanism for As and its dynamics. I hope my study will yield meaningful results which will help eliminate the present crisis of water contamination.