Govt mulls water supply, sanitation project for Rohingyas

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DHAKA, Sep 1, 2018 (BSS) – The government is going to undertake a project for safe water supply and sanitation facilities to improve the health and living standards of the Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar, who were forcibly displaced from Myanmar.

“The Planning Commission has already received a draft project proposal to this end from the Department of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE) under the Local Government Division,” said a senior official of Planning Commission.

The official told BSS that the project titled ‘Emergency assistance project on ensuring safe water and sanitation operations at Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas in Cox’s Bazar’ will be implemented at an estimated cost of Taka 629.11 crore by June 2021.

Out of the total project cost, Taka 268.37 crore will be provided by the government of Bangladesh (GoB) while the rest Taka 360.73 crore will come as grants from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Planning Commission official said the project objectives include ensuring safe water and sanitation facilities to the forcibly displaced Rohingyas living in some 32 camps at Ukhia and Teknaf including in Kutupalong and Balukhali , introducing piped water supply system at the proposed communities, improving sanitation system including human waste management, resisting social degradation at the proposed Rohingya communities and ensuring equal rights of males and females in getting access to safe water and sanitation.

Talking to the news agency, a Local Government Division official said more than seven lakh of forcibly displaced Rohingyas entered Bangladesh since August last year (2017) in addition to already existing three lakh Rohingyas.

These huge number of Rohingya people are now residing in different camps at Ukhia and Teknaf and they do not have access to enough sanitation and water supply facilities.

“Under the circumstances, the government has initiated a move to implement the project with grants from ADB to set up pipe water supply system with a treatment plant, reservoirs and water carrier arrangements, and sanitation facilities,” added the official.

The main project operations include procuring seven water carriers for emergency water transportation, installation of some 48 mini piped water supply system, two integrated waste management, construction of one surface water treatment plant, construction of two surface water reservoirs with ancillary facilities, installation of two surface water treatment units with pipelines for the camps in Teknaf and some 1,000 community bath facilities for the females in the camps.

The Local Government Division official said that the ADB assistance will come as from the Emergency Assistance Project as the Manila-based lending agency has agreed to provide grant assistance in water, sanitation and internal roads to help tackle the government of Bangladesh the human disaster caused by the huge influx of Rohingyas to Bangladesh.