Arsenic Poisoning in Bangladesh

It is estimated that over 70 million people in Bangladesh have been exposed to water contaminated with naturally occurring arsenic in excess of WHO guidelines, as a result of drinking from aid-funded wells. The team identified a number of problems with the current solutions: the markers for identifying safe wells had deteriorated over time; a lack of education programmes meant that many people didn’t fully understand the long term health consequences of arsenic poisoning; and many of the development projects working to create solutions only address one of the two types of prevalent arsenic. The team examined the various stakeholders including aid organisations, technology providers, community organizations, and education providers, as well as businesses affected by and implicated in the issue including the agriculture and textile industries. The team researched other global solutions to drinking water purification and proposed the consideration of a market-based solution, by which water filtration technology was franchised to communities via water ATMs. This community action would ideally lead to increased community buy-in to the solution, and would help to ensure that a sustainable supply of clean water was available to impacted communities.


GOTO is an action-oriented problem-solving community geared towards addressing some of the most complex issues that face the world today. Each year students and alumni connect with faculty from across the University of Oxford and their research via an online platform to discuss, debate, and drive new business ideas that address global issues.


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