Since August 2017, Bangladesh has been facing new humanitarian challenges in the Cox’s Bazar district with the arrival of an estimated number of over 702,160 Rohingya refugees who have crossed over to Bangladesh following violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state joining the 212,000 persons who had fled in earlier waves of displacement, bringing at total in February 2019 to around 909,774 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar. As of late February 2019, there were camps and settlements, ranging in size from 9,500 refugees in Ali Khali, to more than 612,900 refugees in the Kutupalong-Balukhali Expansion Site. This is now the largest refugee camp in the world. Refugees arrived at the new proposed site before infrastructure and services could be established, severe congestion remains the critical challenge to effective service provision.
To reduce the pressure on water and sanitation facilities and services and to ensure basic hygiene needs, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector has focused on building latrines, sanitation blocks and ensuring clean water provision. SCIH supported through UNICEF funding is now looking at the communities’ beliefs, motivators and barriers regarding good sanitation and hygiene practices which are important issues considering the bottlenecks and tensions related to the WASH area in the refugee camps. The specific qualitative information related to Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviours and Practices among the communities will assist UNICEF in developing context-adapted and acceptable WASH interventions. The quantitative information will focus on water treatment and safe water, sanitation, hygiene and menstrual management hygiene and is built on the RANAS conceptual framework which is designed to identify underlying factors that promote or inhibit behavior change. The data collected will provide basis to develop targeted interventions that involve behavior change of the target population.