Social distancing is a crucial aspect in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. But that poses challenges to the flow of key information during a time when being well-informed also is critical to public health.
Which is where bicycles and rickshaws come in.
In Cox's Bazar, the world's largest refugee camp, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) continues to explore new ways to bring key messaging to Rohingya and host community members throughout the district. Initiatives like messaging via rickshaw and IOM's Interactive Voice Response system are making huge strides in ensuring the public is kept informed.
However, gaps remain where phone and road access are limited.
To amplify key messaging and ensure that no one is left without access to lifesaving information, IOM's Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) unit in Cox's Bazar began delivering information throughout the Rohingya settlements by bicycle.
In line with the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations "green recovery" recommendations to encourage a culture of cycling, IOM is supporting Rohingya participants to use bicycles procured and painted locally to ride throughout pre-identified sections of the camp.
The cyclists use megaphones to deliver pre-recorded messages to each area.
The initiative is conducted by Rohingya refugees, for Rohingya refugees, and has already reached approximately 67,000 beneficiaries across the camp. Scaled-up messaging will continue as Covid-19 numbers rise.
As of June 10, 37 Rohingya refugees had tested positive for the virus.