March 1, 2017
Teknaf- Bangladesh government officials say they have begun a new census to determine the exact number of Rohingya refugees living inside their borders.
The initiative is being taken by the Cox’s Bazar branch of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), according to reports in the Bangladesh media.
The new census comes less than a year after a similar initiative by the Bangladesh government in association with the IOM.
“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,” Md Wahidur Rahman, deputy director of BBS Cox’s Bazar office told the Dhaka Tribune. “In order to determine the exact number of new refugees, the government is launching the census in the three districts.” It is expected to be completed by March 10 but will stretch for a few more days if needed, he added.
The new census will take place in Cox’s Bazar main town area, 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.
Our sources say the government’s last initiative in idenitifying the exact number of refugees was wildly inaccurate. It is not clear how the government intends to complete this mammoth task in less than two weeks.
It is estimated that around half a million Rohingyas reside in Bangladesh with almost a hundred thousand arriving since the flare up in violence since October last year.