Speakers at a daylong workshop on Thursday emphasised the need for making the sanitation programme compulsory through out the country for getting relief from various waterborne diseases. At least 80 per cent diseases spread in the country due to lack of proper knowledge about sanitation, they said and urged the authorities concerned to set up sanitary latrines in the rural areas.

With the weather turning hot and humid, like other parts of the province reports of gastroenteritis particularly among children have started to pour in at various city hospitals. Cases pertaining to gastro/diarrhoea reported to various government hospitals across the province increased considerably during May. Reports have also been received pertaining to cholera epidemic in a district as well.

Forty-two people died of diarrhoea in the last one month as the deadly water-borne disease spread alarmingly throughout the country due to hot and humid weather coupled with scarcity of pure drinking water. According to the control room of the directorate general of health services, 87,173 diarrhoea-affected people had been treated in hospitals last month and 42 of them died. At least 110 died of diarr- hoeal diseases and 3,43,922 were affected since January 1 this year.

A teenage girl and a woman died on Sunday due to a disease caused by contaminated water of Manchhar Lake. Also, about 1500 fishermen of four villages in the surrounding area of the lake have been infected with different water-borne diseases. At least eight people have died during the last three months in four villages adjacent to Manchhar Lake due to water-borne ailments.

The Corporation quarters on M M Road in Cox Town, opposite the Government Boys School, which houses 10 residences has been receiving coloured drinking water contaminated with worms for over a week. Leakage of water through the old corroded pipes in the area is said to be the cause for it and BWSSB has temporarily rectified the leakage on Friday.

Nutrition situation is deteriorating in the country with the outbreak of diarrhoea when 12 to 15 percent of children are already suffering from malnutrition due to poverty, food insecurity, low birth weight, lack of awareness and hygiene practice. Diarrhoea is a major cause of malnutrition and morbidity of children aged under five years across the globe, and 17 percent of children below five years die every year globally due to diarrhoea, of which 95 percent children are in developing countries, says World Health Organisation.

The tug of war between the Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA) and the Corporation of the City of Panjim (CCP) over "who will cap the Curca garbage dump?' may have ended but the work of capping the dump is yet to start though the monsoon is not far away. The work had to be completed before the monsoons to ensure that polluted water does not reach Curca village. The CCP which has been directed by the High Court, last week, to cover the garbage dump with tarpaulim before the monsoon of 2008, has not been able to start the work for want of funds.

HAILAKANDI

Bangkok: Oxfam says the initial estimated death toll of 100,000 in Myanmar as a result of Cyclone Nargis may multiply by up to 15 times if clean water and sanitation are not urgently provided.

The BWSSB officials on Monday said there is no case of water contamination at Shamanna Garden from where 20 suspected gastro-entritis cases were shifted to Isolation Hospital. Assistant Executive Engineer K Narasanna said the samples of water were taken from the spot and tested in the presence of BBMP health inspector. "The samples showed sufficient chlorination and so it has been clearly proved there is no problem with the water quality,' he said.

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