Rohingya refugees lost their homes once again after the Bangladesh floods turned their camps into fast-flowing rivers overnight. At least 11 Rohingya refugees have died, and thousand are becoming homeless again after heavy monsoon rain and landslides destroyed the entire hillsides of shelters, says an official.
Mamunur Rashid, a local official in Cox’s Bazar, an area where Rohingya refugees have lived for years after fleeing Myanmar, stated that as many as six people died in Balukhali and Palong Khali camps on Tuesday, including one child—followed by five people died in Teknaf on Wednesday morning.
Around 13,000 people have been affected by the floods and landslides that have killed many people in India lately, and also leading to many reports of missing persons.
Since 2017, more than 730,000 members of the Rohingya ethnic group have fled to Bangladesh to escape the brutal campaign of killings, rape, and arson in Myanmar as the government refuses to recognize them as citizens. UN even said that Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingyas, who are predominantly Muslim, was a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
Refugees in camps continue to suffer even after fleeing to Bangladesh. Many contracting diseases, not to mention being affected by heavy rains and fires, as happened in March, where 15 people died, and dozens were left homeless. Many refugees, who lost their homes, had to live in squalid conditions.
Hasina Akhter, Cox’s Bazar area director for BRAC, a Bangladeshi humanitarian agency, said that many of the refugees affected by the floods were in dire need of food because there were no cooking facilities such as soup kitchens. Medical assistance is also urgently needed to treat those who are sick with fever or colds.
The United Nations refugee agency expressed its sympathies on Twitter, wrote that it was deeply saddened by the deaths of refugees caused by severe weather events. It added that its emergency response teams are already in the camps, coordinating with government and relief organizations.
Floods hit Bangladesh at the same time the country battling its worst coronavirus outbreak. As reported, 15,000 new cases were discovered on Tuesday, with a record 258 deaths.
Previously the Bangladeshi government announced that they would soon start vaccinating Rohingya refugees aged 55 and older.