Fluoride Action Network

High fluoride content in water takes a toll

Source: The Hindu | May 3rd, 2015 | By S. Murali
Location: India

32 people have died in last six months owing to renal ailmentsin Kanigiri

Seven-year-old Ravi from Ayyavaripalli can’t play like other boys. So is the case with nine-year-old Kottaiah, owing to the deformity in his lower limbs. They got the ailment in very tender age, which gradually led to bone deformity like many other children in the village in Pamuru mandal. At least one person in every household suffers from the ailments associated with the consumption of water with high fluoride content, explains villager Narasimha.

“The worst-ever drought in 45 years has added to our woes,” laments a group of people in nearby Bodavada village.

They find it difficult to source water for drinking, irrigation and for feeding cattle. As many as 32 patients have died in the village in the last six months owing to renal ailments as they could not afford the costly kidney transplantation. More than 100 people from the village are undergoing dialysis at hospitals in Kandukur, Ongole and Guntur now, explains 60-year-old Ankamma.

Dental and skeletal fluorosis are the major health problem in Kanigiri Assembly constituency, where fluoride concentration in water is as high as 8.60 mg/litre, suggest Groundwater department sources. According to WHO recommendation, water having fluoride content beyond 1.5 mg/litre is risky for human consumption.

Only old people continued to reside in the village left with no other option, while their sons and daughters migrated to cities and towns looking for greener pastures, adds 67-year-old Rangamma. The fluoride problem has been very severe in the region due to prolonged dryspell, says Pamaru CPI(M) Secretary K.Malyadri.

More than 40 RO plants set up in the constituency at a cost of Rs. 2 crore have hardly any impact as people consume food grown with flouride-rich water, says ex-MLA Dr. M. Ugra Narasimha Reddy. Water supply from Ramatheertham and Nagarjunasagar project does not cover the constituency, adds CPI(M) secretary K. Malyadri.