The government is building a total of 50 multipurpose cyclone shelters cum schools under the Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project (EMCRP) at Teknaf and Ukhia Upazilas in Cox's Bazaar district.
Under the project, the government is also building and improving relief administration and distribution centre, multipurpose community service centres, hat bazaars, firefighting warehouses, roads, footpaths, drains, culverts, bridges, lightning arresters and installs solar street lights inside the camps, said a press release today.
EMCRP, aided by the World Bank, was launched to provide greater protection for the around about 11.00 lakh Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs) in times of natural disaster and improve social service delivery system by improving communication network, social resilience and other facilities.
The World Bank is providing a $165 million grant to help Bangladesh to provide basic services and build disaster and social resilience for the Rohingya who have fled violence in Myanmar and sought shelter in the Teknaf and Ukhia Upazilas.
Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Department if Public Health (DPHE) and Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) are implementing the project.
Talking to BSS, Project Director of the EMCRP, being implemented by LGED, Javed Karim said the project is helping build and rehabilitate basic infrastructure, improve community resilience and help prevent gender-based violence against the forcibly displaced Rohingya population.
He informed that the project has planned to conduct key investments to improve connectivity (with about 29 percent of the project budget) that includes improvement of 25 km internal roads in camps, construction of 10 access and evacuation bridges, construction of 205 km access and evacuation roads, improvement of 6 hats, construction of 23 emergency shelters and construction of 30 multi-purpose service centers.
Boktiar Uddin, a local shopkeeper of the camp-19 under Ukhia upazila, said due to the government initiative, the communication system and other facilities are improving day by day.
“We are now moving one place to another place easily. The road communication and other facilities are now better than earlier,” he added.
Mohammad Shahjahan, Director and CEO of the Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP), a Community Awareness Service (CAS) provider to EMCRP-LGED, said the project would help mitigate some of the risks facing both the forcibly displaced and their host communities and help implement a development response which complements humanitarian activities on the ground.
The interventions through this project to strengthen the government capacity will contribute to meeting both immediate and medium-term needs for the FDMNs and to further support the GoB to manage the crisis, he added.
The Rohingya people started seeking refuge in Bangladesh as early as 1978. The first influx in 1978 consisted of 250,000 Rohingyas, and the second in 1991-1992 was of similar number. During this time, UNHCR established 20 camps in Cox's Bazar district for the Rohingya refugees. In 1993-1997, 230,000 Rohingya refugees were repatriated back to Myanmar. After that, in 2017, the largest number of Rohingya people (655,000) fled Myanmar and sought refuge in Bangladesh. From 2017 to 2019, the total number of refugees increased to 826,485 with the influx of new refugees.