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80% of inland waterway workers suffer skin diseases

SCRF recommends water treatment facility on all types of vessels
UNB . Dhaka
23 May 2024 14:25:41 | Update: 23 May 2024 14:52:05
80% of inland waterway workers suffer skin diseases
— UNB Photo

Due to the use of untreated water, 80 per cent of workers on vessels plying the inland waterways across the country are suffering from various types of complex intestinal diseases and skin infections.

This information was highlighted in a report of the Shipping and Communication Reporters Forum (SCRF). The organisation on Thursday revealed the summary of the report in a media release.

In the report, SCRF recommended making it mandatory to install water treatment facilities on all public and private vessels carrying passengers and goods to protect the health of workers.

The media release said that the report had been prepared by conducting a year-long survey and research. During the survey, more than 100 workers of 10 types of vessels were spoken to along with specialist physicians.

These vessels included passenger-carrying launches, cargo vessels, excavators, dredgers, barges and houseboats.

According to SCRF, one-fifth of the country is coastal area. The water of the rivers in the coastal areas are highly saline throughout the year. Besides, almost all the rivers of the country are suffering from severe pollution. The workers stay on the vessels day after day. But there is no water treatment facility on public and private vessels.

The low-paid workers are forced to use river water. As a result, they are suffering from serious diseases.

According to the SCRF report citing doctors, long-term use of saline and polluted river water can lead to many skin diseases including skin cancer. A variety of complex intestinal disorders can occur, including liver cirrhosis, bacillary dysentery, dysentery, stomach ulcers and regular diarrhoea.