Self-supporting community- based mitigation program that provides arsenic safe water using modified dugwells along with public education on water related health effects.



Initially there were 3 beneficiary families.

  • Impact Assessment (M&E) Phase Project completed on 31 Dec, 2008 Implementation Phase
  • Implementation Phase Project started on 8 Jan, 2008 Preparation Phase

Self-supporting community- based mitigation program that provides arsenic safe water using modified dugwells along with public education on water related health effects.


Initially there were 3 beneficiary families.

Other Issues

Unusual and unexpected issues faced during project execution

Research and Development is part of the project. Arsenic level was found to be slightly high: 34 PPB on 21st November 2008. Some experts says that since arsenic is in the soil during collection if one particle of sand containing iron with arsenic would give such high level. Hence it is always advisable to obtain the water filtering through piece of material (saree or muslin type of material) to the mouth of the hand pump to avoid consuming arsenic that adheres to sand particle. It is easy solution but people do not like to follow. Hence ongoing awareness/health meetings are so essential.

and the Total coliform count was
17 and fecal coliform count was 13 as of 1/12/2009. the water is clear water, no odor, tastes norma.


People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 15

There are now 4 families. Male 6, female, 9 and 1 child under 5 years of age.

People Getting Other Benefits: 50

Public health education on arsenic health effects and personal hygiene is given to all the dugwell beneficiaries. A training program on the maintenance of the dugwells (including chlorination) is given to develop a sense of ownership and to make the program sustainable. There are five field workers working on the dugwell program who are selected from the arsenic afflicted villages. They are involved in site selection, village meetings during site selection, followed by construction of the wells and also follow up the on the technical faults of the dugwells and the numebr of users. The villagers are also shown VCDs on how to improve personal health and hygeine through proper practices. The office of Aqua Welfare Society is located in the village and the coordinator and the account asistant / data entry person travel from Kolkata to meet with them weekly. Trades like well-digging, pottery, and masonry, are required for the dugwell program and are benefiting from work generated by the project.

Maintenance/Operating Costs Annual, in US$: $40

Creating and measuring long-term impact

Implementer: Aqua Welfare Society, West Bengal, India

All the members are in honorary position and they are from various disciplines. The key founding members are Dr. Meera M Hira Smith, PhD (Geography), Treasurer and Director of Project Well, California, USA and researcher in the School of Public Health, Arsenic Health Effects Research Studies, University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Timir Hore, Ph.D (Hydro-geology), Technical advisor of Project Well, New Jersey, USA. Mr. Protap Chakraverti, (Geology) advisor of Project Well and Ex-director of Geological Survey of India, Kolkata Prof. Allan H Smith, (Epidemiology), President of Project Well and Professor and Principal Investigator of Health Effect Studies on Arsenic in School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.

The other members and advisors of Project Well are Ms. Cynthia Green (Environmental Engineer) Secretary of Project Well and masters candidate in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, University of Texas. Ms. Jane Liaw, MPH, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Ms. Lisa Booker, Oakland, California, USA.
*Prof. Richard Wilson, PhD, Physics, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA.

Honorary Members of Aqua Welfare Society, Kolkata, India are Mr. Amal Ghosh, (Lawyer), President. Mr. Uday Mukherjee, (Geology)t, Secretary. Ms. Alpana Hira-Davidson, MSc, Treasurer. Other members are Mr. Protap Chakraverti, Geology. Dr. Xavier Savarimuthu, PhD, Environmental Science. Mr. Somendranath Banerjee, Geology. Mr. Punurdan Dutta, Social Worker. Other members are Mrs. Rajashree Hira, Social Worker, Ms. Monimala Mishra, MSc. Teacher. The Project Coordinator (2008) is Mr. Suprio Das, Chartered Electrical Engineer and the account assistant and computer person is Mr. Sekhar Pal, M.Com, 2nd year in MSW. Field Workers are Mr. Dennis Baroi, Mrs. Farida Bibi, Mr. Biswajit Karmakar, Mr. Asit Mondol and Mrs. Shilpi Poddar.


Final Cost: