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Fluorosis mitigation program in selected village of Dhar district, MP


WaterAid India, an international organization working with fully technical support of Peoples’ Science Institute towards providing safe drinking water, has commissioned a fluorosis mitigation project in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. Much of this district is poor and rural, with a major population of scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) groups. The project area falls within the fluvial zone of the Narmada river, where fluorosis is prevalent due to fluoride contamination in groundwater (which i­­­s a major source of drinking water in rural areas throughout India). In 57 water samples tested in ten villages within Dhar district, the fluoride concentration was found to be in the range of 0.11 to 13.4 mg/L. The prescribed maximum limit for drinking water in India is 1 mg/L, and fluorosis occurs when fluoride concentration exceeds 1.5 mg/L. Around 40% of the children of Dhar district’s villages are affected with dental fluorosis. Operating with the full technical support of People’s Science Institute (PSI), WaterAid India aims to provide safe drinking water for the most fluorosis-affected villages of the district.


An initial survey was conducted in ten villages in Dharampuri and Tirla blocks to establish the existing levels of fluoride contamination in the drinking water supply. This data will be compared with urinary fluoride concentration after project completion to assess the usage level of the safe drinking water supply. The survey is designed to ascertain the level of urinary excretion of fluoride as directly related to fluoride intake. The urine of 441 individuals was tested, and found to contain fluoride in the range 0.47 to 37.9 mg/L. The lower ranges indicate the existence of some safe sources of drinking water (typically wells), while the higher ranges indicate unsafe sources with no viable alternatives. A previous survey of drinking water sources and fluorosis throughout Dhar district has established areas to be targeted by improved drinking water supplies. Currently WaterAid and Peoples Science Institute have selected seven villages for the initial implementation, and the water supply scheme has been completed in two villages, Bahadara and Ahmadpura. In five additional villages, work is in progress. Follow-up studies will be carried out three months, six months and eighteen months after project completion.

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Developed by: People's Science Institute, Dehra Doon, Uttarakhand, India