WaSH Support for Rohingya Refugees and Vulnerable Local Communities in Cox’s Bazar District
Basic services such as infrastructure, health, water, forest and land resources that were available prior to the Rohingya influx in Cox’s Bazar are under strain due to the massive increase in people in the area. The HYSAWA Fund will address the needs and gaps of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, targeting vulnerable host communities and refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar by enhancing capacity of Local Government Institutions. It will apply tools developed in previous Swiss programmes to improve state-citizen relations and relationships between refugees and the host communities.
Democratic participation and civil society
|Background||Cox’s Bazar is among the poorer districts of Bangladesh. The sub-districts (“Upazilas”) Ukhia and Teknaf under Cox’s Bazar are among the 50 most socially deprived upazilas (out of 509). Difficult terrain, bad roads and insufficient infrastructure contribute to poor living conditions. The Rohingya influx in Cox’s Bazar has put pressure on the district’s local community. WaSH is a significant concern in Cox’s Bazar with access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation below national average. The recent influx is further exacerbating the situation. Although water is generally accessible for residents of Teknaf and Ukhia, only 78% of people in Teknaf have access to safe drinking water sources compared to the national average of 98%. Host communities are increasingly concerned over the depletion of water sources. Sanitation in Teknaf and Ukhia is a major concern as coverage is low, with only around 30% of host communities having access to a sanitary latrine as compared to the national average of 61%. Hygiene practice is generally poor with only one third of households reportedly using soap for hand washing. Risks of disease are increased by poor waste management and disposal of faecal sludge in open fields or water bodies. The increased demand for WASH services by the new Rohingya arrivals has reduced the access for host communities in these areas. For example, some communities report a change in the ratio of tube-wells to households from 1:5 prior to the influx to 1:100 now.|
|Objectives||Improve the health conditions of vulnerable host communities and Rohingya refugees through empowering Local Government Institutions in addressing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene problems in Cox’s Bazar.|
|Target groups||Women, men and children in host communities and in Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.|
Local Government Institutions are empowered to provide more people-oriented public services, in particular water supply, sanitation services and hygiene promotion.
Targeted men, women, boys and girls in Rohingya camps and host communities enjoy effective, sufficient and continuous water, sanitation services and hygiene promotion.
This project will directly deliver results against Outcome 1 and Outcome 2 of the Swiss Cooperation Strategy 2018-2021 results framework for the Democratic Governance domain. It will support LGIs in providing facilities enabling 89’000 people from the host community and 30’000 Rohingya refugees to access safe drinking water through installing more than 2000 new water points. This project will also help 24’000 host community people and more than 1’500 Rohingya in arranging latrines. It is also expected that 50’000 people will be reached with information on hygiene. The results will be achieved through implementing below five outputs under two outcomes.
Output 1: Local Government Institutions are providing space to people, especially the poor and marginalized, to democratically participate in planning and monitoring of public services, particularly water and sanitation.
Output 2: Local Government Institutions are able to apply existing laws and guidelines related to Public Finance Management and demonstrate transparency and accountability in managing WaSH services.
Output 3: Targeted people are benefitting from adequate supply of safe drinking water.
Output 4: Targeted people are benefitting from functional latrines.
Output 5: Targeted women, men, boys and girls are able to demonstrate at least 3 critical hygiene practices and are satisfied with the hygiene related information shared.
Results from previous phases:
This single phase project builds on existing experience and allows for cost-efficient scaling up. SDC has been working with HYSAWA since 2012 and contributed to improve water, sanitation and hygiene issues in a number of Hard to Reach Areas of the Southern coastal belt of Bangladesh. HYSAWA has helped to increase the coverage of safe drinking water in the project areas from 41.4% to 61.3% in three years. The project successfully accelerated progress in sanitation in hard-to-reach communities by increasing the coverage of sanitation infrastructure from 35.5% in 2013 to 60.8% in 2016. The project’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene programme, which followed a more people oriented approach, ensured the inclusion and active participation at different stages in the planning and implementation of water projects of men and women living in poverty and in hard-to-reach communities. This participatory approach not only strengthens ownership of the facilities by the local population and hence their maintenance and sustainability, but it also helps ensure all population groups’ needs are considered in the decision-making and avoid conflict. HYSAWA interventions familiarize local government institutions with participatory planning instruments that can be used also in other contexts, beyond WASH, thereby contributing to improving state-citizen relations more generally. HYSAWA’s interventions were evaluated as relevant at national and local levels and have a positive impact on the capacity, transparency and accountability of local governments at the Union Parishad (UP) level.
This new undertaking, co-funded by Denmark and Switzerland, though more humanitarian in character, will try to extend these advances incrementally in the area of Bangladesh affected by a large-scale and protracted refugee crisis. As Denmark funds the largest share of these additional HYSAWA operations covering Cox’s Bazar, and in order not to put an additional administrative and reporting burden on HYSAWA in an emergency context, this project will administratively be a standalone single-phase contribution, even though it builds on the ongoing successful but separate DANIDA-HYSAWA and SDC-HYSAWA collaborations. This single phase contribution to cover refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar will as far as possible rely on finalized products from the ongoing project, such as project operation manuals, training modules, tools & checklists, finance and procurement manuals. The proposed project complements HA’s engagement in the WASH sector that is largely focused on the refugee population. It also extends development approaches into the affected region, thereby enabling the host communities to better deal with the impact of the refugee crisis. The project is in itself an embodiment of the nexus between the Swiss humanitarian and development interventions in response to the crisis. The humanitarian advisor and development team will closely interact in the steering of the project, and future humanitarian interventions in the WASH sector in Cox’s Bazar will consider HYSAWA. A future Technical Resource Unit for the WASH sector to be established by Swiss Humanitarian Aid in Cox’s Bazar as a direct action will serve as an important resource to identify appropriate technologies for the region.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
- Synergies with SDC and DANIDA funded HYSAWA interventions in Southern Coastal belt (same approaches, transfer of tools and experiences)
- Coordination with DANIDA as the main funder of this project will be key.
- SDC (co-) funded local governance project “Efficient and Accountable Local Governance” (EALG), which will be working in Cox’s Bazar
- humanitarian response coordination mechanisms for both camps and host communities “Inter Sector Coordination Group” (ISCG)
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 2'500'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 764'809|