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*Law of Aliens

Published on January 12th, 2018 | by Georgia Archonti

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100 Days Since Start of Crisis, Needs of Rohingya Refugees, Local Community Continue to Grow

It is now over 100 days since an upsurge in violence in Myanmar’s Northern Rakhine State forced some 625,792 Rohingya refugees to flee into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The conditions of the congested settlements, where the refugees are now living, are extremely dire.

The impact of this influx can be felt widely in the already impoverished local communities living in the region, struggling to survive, such that the UN Humanitarian Response Plan aims to reach 300,000 members of the local community in need of assistance.

The water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) situation is not only of concern in the refugee settlements, where over 60 per cent of water is contaminated with E.coli, but also, in the local communities living nearby.

“Access to clean water and safe sanitation services is a problem for the communities hosting refugees in Cox’s Bazar,” said Alessandro Petrone, WASH Programme Manager for IOM’s Rohingya Response. “A global and up to date WASH assessment providing a proper gaps analysis and an activities plan is urgently needed. IOM is developing a rated assessment tool and will deploy teams to the field in the coming days to support this work,” said Petrone.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has constructed more than 3,800 latrines and 159 wells in six host community locations – Whykong, Palonkhali, Jaliapalong, Kutupalong, Rajapalong and Baharchora.

More than 30,000 host community members now have access to safe water and sanitation services. To ensure sustainability and to generate employment, IOM has trained and equipped local tube well caretakers.

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