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Setting up clinics to assess drinking water quality in coastal areas: CMFRI

The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) said it would set up water clinics in the coastal region of the state to maintain the quality of drinking water resources

water, groundwater

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Press Trust of India Kochi

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A Central government institute on Wednesday decided to set up water clinics in the coastal region of Kerala to ensure regular and large-scale water quality checks in the wake of a recent study that found an alarming level of E coli contamination in the Vembanad lake.
Some strains of the E coli bacteria can cause serious food poisoning.
The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) said it would set up water clinics in the coastal region of the state to maintain the quality of drinking water resources.
"At a time when climate change continues to fuel storm surges and resulting coastal flooding, the proposed clinics are aimed at assessing the quality of drinking water resources in coastal communities," said Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI.
He was speaking at an awareness workshop on climate change among the fishermen residing in Chellanam and Puthuvypu in Ernakulam district held at CMFRI.
"The new initiative is in line with the 'One Health' concept that aims to achieve optimal health for people, aquatic animals and plants, and the environment.
In continuation of the existing research project to understand the extent of pathogenic Vibrio pollution in Vembanad, the Water Clinics are expected to maintain the quality of the drinking water resources in the region, thereby preventing the spread of waterborne diseases in the community," Gopalakrishnan said.
Vibrio is a water-borne bacterium of a group that includes some pathogenic kinds that cause cholera, gastroenteritis, and septicaemia.
Emulating the success model of the 'Citizen Science' initiative for the Vembanad research project, the participation of students will be ensured to conduct water quality checks on a large-scale in the coastal region with the support of a mobile application, he said.
In order to set up the Water Clinics, the CMFRI will collaborate with the Nansen Environmental Research Centre, Kochi, the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), the Public Health Department and other agencies, Gopalakrishnan added.
While sharing their experience of the impact of climate change, the fishermen pointed to the increased frequency and intensity of coastal flooding that wreaks havoc on their daily lives and aquaculture practices.
They also expressed concern over the evidently visible environmental disturbances in water bodies, such as sedimentation and obstructed water flow, as well as the growing incidence of disease outbreaks among aquaculture farms.
Dr C Ramachandran who moderated the discussion said fishermen were the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
The awareness workshop was organised by the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) research project of the CMFRI.
In an effort to minimise the losses caused by climate change on the coastal communities, the CMFRI provided climate aid to 24 fisher families belonging to the SC community residing in Chellanam and Puthuvypu, on the occasion, a CMFRI release said.
As part of this, implements such as fishing nets, freezers, ice boxes, motor pump sets, fish seeds and feeds etc worth Rs 2.5 lakh were distributed among the fishermen under the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) programme of the NICRA project of the institute.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 5:08 PM IST

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