March 22, 2019
Scaling up safe drinking-water supply in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh
In collaboration with Swedish Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations, Ramboll has started a project of installing production boreholes and gravity distribution systems for safe drinking supply in the mega refugee camp of Cox’s Bazar, delivering safe drinking water to approximately 10,000 people.
By Martin Zoffmann
Six months after 25 August 2017, when clashes in the Rakhine state of Myanmar triggered the exodus, more than 650,000 people had fled to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. They are now living in the most horrible conditions, in the so-called mega camp that encompasses more than 800,000 people.
The people are completely dependent on life-saving emergency assistance including shelter materials, food, water and healthcare including emotional support for adults and children. Humanitarian agencies, the government, host communities and displaced people have worked together to improve and stabilize the situation.
However, the sanitary conditions and water safety is extremely poor, leaving the population very exposed for water born- and acute diarrheal diseases. Delivering safe water to these people is hence of uttermost importance, however at the same time very difficult in this complex context.
Important step in creating sustainable long-term safe water access
Therefore, Ramboll has initiated a project together with Swedish Red Cross, Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) aiming at enhancing the chances of overcoming some of the challenges with providing safe drinking water, while at the same time building long-term capacity within the Red Cross and Crescent Societies working in Cox’s Bazar.
“The objective of this humanitarian project is to install two production boreholes and gravity distribution systems for safe drinking supply, in the mega refugee camp of Cox’s Bazar, delivering safe drinking water to approximately 10,000 people. This might seem like a ‘drop in the ocean’, but it is a very important step to create sustainable long-term access to safe water in this refugee mega-camp,” says Mattias von Brömssen, water safety expert in Ramboll’s global water division.
The projected is supported by the Ramboll Foundation and has just been kicked off. The implementation will be secured through the Swedish Red Cross, who already
has WaSH expertise on site.