Several cases of kidney ailments have been reported from Sri Lankan refugees living in Thiruvathavur camp here. Nine refugees have died due to kidney failure in the last four years, revealed a human rights organisation. Poor quality of water drawn through borewells is being blamed for the incidence of renal diseases at the camp.
Renal failure, also known as kidney failure, results when kidneys fail to adequately filter waste products from the blood.
The said camp was set up at Thiruvathavur village in Melur taluk in 2002 to accommodate refugees from Sri Lanka. About 490 families which were staying at another camp in Vaikam Periyar Nagar, near Avaniyapuram, were shifted here. The camp has 500 houses with toilets and other facilities, including three borewells. Water, which is drawn from two over-head tanks of 62,000 litre and 32,000 litre capacity, is taken by the residents through 60 tap connections on the premises.
Water available at the camp may contain chemicals causing kidney problems, said C Anadaraj, director of Equal Rights, the NGO.
Among the 16 people currently suffering from renal issues are a nine-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy. "Due to kidney failure nine people in the camp have lost their lives since 2009. Two children have urological diseases and seven others have kidney stones," said Krishna Leela, an inhabitant of the camp.
"The refugees have been using the borewell water for all their needs. People who are financially sound are buying can water for drinking after we came to know that water contamination has been causing kidney ailments. As many people at the camp can't pay for packaged water, they still use the borewell water," said Anna Rose, another inmate.
"The government, which is keen about the welfare of the refugees, should take steps to test the water available in the camp. We will be safe as long as we live here only if the water becomes potable," said both Leela and Rose.(The Times Of India)