The census comes less than a year after the government conducted a similar census in collaboration with the International Organisation on Migration in March last year.
The Cox’s Bazar district office of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has taken the initiative to particularly find out the number of Rohingyas that have recently entered Bangladesh, said Md Wahidur Rahman, deputy director of BBS Cox’s Bazar office.
“The international and humanitarian organisations are each stating a different number of Rohingyas who sought refuge in our country to flee the military crackdown in Myanmar since October last year,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. “In order to determine the exact number of new refugees, the government is launching the census in the three districts.”
The BBS will conduct the census at Cox’s Bazar Sadar, Ramu, Chakaria, Ukiya and Teknaf upazilas in Cox’s Bazar, Lohagara, Satkania, Chandnaish, Patiya and Boalkhali upazilas in Chittagong, and Naikhyongchhari, Lama and Alikadam upazilas of Bandarban, Wahid said.
The census will also cover the unregistered Rohingyas who have been living outside the registered camps in Teknaf and Ukhiya for a long time, he added.
The district authorities have formed committees on both district and upazila levels to conduct the survey.
The district-level committees will be led by the deputy commissioners and the upazila-level committees will be led by he upazila nirbahi officers (UNO).
In Cox’s Bazar, 170 teams will conduct the census, each team consisting of two members.
“The census will run until March 10, but it may be extended for a few days if necessary,” Wahid said.
Asked when the final counts would be made public, Wahid said that would be decided by his superiors.