Drinking water in the Kutupalong, Leda and Nayapara refugee camps

by WorleyParsons

(Business)

A Global Compact member

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Our WorleyParsons’ hydro-physicists, under a consulting agreement for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, headed to Bangladesh to help find deeper wells, using state-of-the-art, mining and geophysical industry technology.

Project implemented: December 2017

Project goal

Provide safe clean water to refugees living in the refugee camps in Bangladesh

delivering on

why is this project important?

Providing humanitarian water expertise is a global issue we can offer from our teams within Australian companies -

impact to date

450,000
people in need of clean water, provided by this work

Did you know that between August and November 2017, the number of refugees in the Kutupalong refugee camp in southeast Bangladesh rose from 99,705 to 450,000? And, while there are about 6,000 very shallow wells here providing refugees with water, they are largely contaminated by e-coli and other pathogens.

WorleyParsons’ hydro-physicists, under a consulting agreement for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, headed to Bangladesh to help find deeper wells, using state-of-the-art, mining and geophysical industry technology, such as high resolution unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery, daily mapping and 3D interactive, cloud-based visualization technology.

Our team have been long-term supporters of water exploration for refugee camps. In 2016-2017, their water exploration resulted in clean water for 60,000 of the 185,000 refugees in Kakuma; and for 8,000 ‘returnees’ to 22 villages and health clinics in Northern Uganda. The WorleyParsons Foundation is presently supporting the drilling and hand pump installation of 10 wells in this latest Uganda project.

Through the work in Bangladesh, we aim to meet four of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN, including ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’ and ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’.

Facing new challenges

“We started working in the Leda and Nayapara camps in the southern part of the Teknaf Peninsula, each home to around 50,000 refugees,” explains Paul Bauman, a technical manager for Advisian. “There, we were able to save the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) months of drilling and exploration when our mapped area revealed big differences to theirs. We also found new possibilities for excavating and expanding existing surface reservoirs.”

The team then moved on to the Kutupalong camp in the north.

“As recently as June 2017, this area was jungle, inhabited by Asian elephants,” says Bauman. “When we arrived in the camp, there were people as far as the eye could see and a city of plastic tarps and bamboo. The cacophony of white noise of 450,000 people was like being in a chicken coop,” he adds. “But the fact that the lack of clean and sufficient volumes of water had a technical solution made it easier to dive back into the chaos each day.”

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