The central laboratory of the Department of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE) established with Japanese grant to examine quality of drinking water was inaugurated Tuesday at the city's Mohakhali, report agencies.
The laboratory was established to strengthen the capacity of examining water quality in the country with special emphasis on arsenic contamination analysis and mitigation of arsenic related diseases.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan opened the laboratory at a function.
The central laboratory will also act as the coordinator and manager of 10 zonal laboratories across the country and organise a national water quality monitoring and surveillance system.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Bhuiyan mentioned the assistance of the Japanese government with gratitude in promoting better health services in Bangladesh.
He renewed his government's vow to ensure adequate health services for country's people.
"We have given due importance to arsenic related diseases, by which mainly the poor people of the country are affected," he said.
"Establishment of the lab is one of the steps we have taken in line with our pledge to rout the arsenic problem in the country," the minister said.
Japanese Ambassador Matsushiro Horiguchi told the function that the central water testing laboratory that opened here today and 11 others testing labs across the country would be efficiently utilised for ensuring safe water and sound health practices so that the people of this country could enjoy access to safe drinking water in the years to come and could protect themselves from the curse of arsenic.
Resident Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Akiro Arai also addressed the function chaired by the DPHE chief engineer Khorshed Alam.
Later, the minister visited the different sections of the newly open laboratory.
The construction of the laboratory began in July 2004
under Japan's Grant Assistance project for "Strengthening Water Quality Examination System of Bangladesh". The total cost of the project is Tk 333.4 million where the Bangladesh government contributed Tk 61.2 million, JICA sources told the news agency.