The terrain at Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban is hilly, marshy and mostly unhospitable. Delivering basic services here is a challenge.
There are 1.6 million people living in the hill tracts. The region covers 10 per cent of Bangladesh’s land area but accounts for only 1 per cent of the population.
About half the population are from 13 small ethnic groups. These religious and ethnic minorities have been living in hill tracts for many generations. The other half, about 53 per cent, are Bengalees. Most of the people live in scattered habitats known as ‘Para’.
The CHT communities suffer from many deprivations due to challenges posed by its unique demography, socio-economic situations and diversities in culture and customs.
There is also not enough infrastructure, human resources and integration of CHT context in development planning, which all limit effective coverage of basic services.