The government is set to install 1,000 deep tube wells and mobile water treatment plants at 11 Rohingya camps in Teknaf and Ukhiya in order to alleviate the existing water crisis and water contamination issues there.
Sources said the Local Government Division has sought an additional Tk15 crore for the implementation of the pure drinking water mechanisms and sanitation facilities.
The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) recently found the presence of E.coli bacteria in 71% of the tube wells at the refugee camps.
Earlier, sources from DPHE said many foreign and local NGOs had set up hundreds of tube wells and latrines, but ignored one basic rule: maintaining a safe distance between two tube wells.
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According to the DPHE, a tube well with a depth of 35-40 feet must be installed at least 15-20 feet away from a latrine, which must be set up with more than two rings for sanitation purposes. For a deeper tube well, the distance should be at least 5-10 feet.
If these health regulations are not followed properly, drinking water could become contaminated with human waste from the latrine.
E.coli is responsible for causing bloody diarrhoea, severe anaemia and kidney failure, among other infections.
The summary of the local government’s proposal has now been placed before Finance Minister AMA Muhith for approval.
The summary said more than 620,000 Rohingya refugees are facing a humanitarian crisis at the camps because the local administration is having trouble providing the basic necessities, such as food, water, shelter, medical and sanitation facilities.
The DPHE is seeking assistance from the Ministry of Finance to address this crisis, officials said.
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The proposal asks for Tk15 crore in unexpected expenditure management funds in the current fiscal year budget allocation. According to the proposal, a total of 1,000 deep tube-well will be installed in Teknaf and Ukhiya at the cost of Tk12 crore.
They also plan on setting up 400 female bathrooms and mobile water treatment plants at the cost of Tk50 lakh.
A report by Unicef released on November 21 said around 62% of the water used in Rohingya camps is polluted.
Between August 25 and November 11, some 36,996 refugees were affected by water-borne microbes. Among them, 15,206 were children. Ten of the affected died.
According to the Program Implementation Congresses, apart from water and sanitation, damp habitat is the reason for health risks among the Rohingya refugees.
Children and the elderly are susceptible to pneumonia as they are sleeping in polythene tents.
The finance minister, at recent fiscal coordination and budget monitoring committee meeting, directed the ministries and divisions concerned to take measures for the immediate disbursement of funds for the Rohingya crisis.