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“Facing the hazard of unclean water”

Hamid Ibrahim
Hashim Tayeb, who heads the Laboratories Section at Kassala Drinking Water Authority, discovered dangerously high nitrate levels in some people’s drinking water.
29.03.2016  |  Kassala, Sudan
Chemical engineer Hashim Tayeb in his laboratory, Kassala, May 2015. (photo: The Niles | Hamid Ibrahim)
Chemical engineer Hashim Tayeb in his laboratory, Kassala, May 2015. (photo: The Niles | Hamid Ibrahim)

“We carry out a regular annual survey of water reserves in Kassala State, sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA has chosen Kassala, Khartoum and White Nile states for its water survey in Sudan because their water resources are likely to be much more contaminated than other Sudanese cities.

The surveyed areas include upstream and downstream parts of the river. This effort lasts one week every year and concentrates on testing the nitrate content level as a primary contamination index.

Generally, the test results confirmed that the water was safe and the nitrate levels did not exceed the permissible rate of 50 milligram per litre.

In a number of areas, like Al-Kurmota and Sawagi Shamaliya, we discovered that a number of wells have a high nitrate level, exceeding 400 milligram per litre. That ratio has been steadily increasing year after year.

The high nitrate content in these areas can be attributed to the agricultural use of severely hazardous pesticides. This is not less dangerous than sewage water mixing with underground water.

In addition to nitrates rates, the agency also found that the quantity of salts in the tested water in a number of wells at Wad Sharifi, in Reefi Kassala Locality, has exceeded the permissible level.

We have kept the residents of these areas informed that their water is unfit for human consumption. At first, they refused to accept the test results. Later on they began to deal with this issue thanks to the efforts made to explain the hazards they face by consuming unclean water.”

This article is part of:
Water: A fool won’t even find water in the Nile!
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