Deadly Floods Leave Thousands of Rohingya Refugees Homeless Again

by Msnbctv news staff

Heavy monsoon rains have washed away sprawling Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, turning settlements into fast-flowing rivers in a single day. A minimum of 11 folks have died, officers stated, and 1000’s are homeless as soon as once more.

Mamunur Rashid, a neighborhood official in Cox’s Bazar, the place a whole lot of 1000’s of Rohingya refugees have lived for years after fleeing neighboring Myanmar, stated that at the very least six folks had died on Tuesday within the Balukhali and Palong Khali camps, together with one little one. 5 others died in a camp at Teknaf on Wednesday morning, he stated.

In response to the Inter Sector Coordination Group, a world aid group that oversees the camps, as many as 13,000 folks have been affected by the extreme floods and landslides, which have killed scores in India in current days. Locals stated that dozens of individuals had been reported lacking.

Since 2017, greater than 730,000 members of the Rohingya ethnic group have crossed into Bangladesh, fleeing a vicious navy marketing campaign of killing, rape and arson in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, the place the federal government doesn’t think about them rightful citizens. The United Nations has referred to as Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingya, who’re predominantly Muslim, “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Refugees within the camps in Bangladesh have suffered farther from illness, heavy rains and fires, together with one in March that killed at least 15 people and left tens of 1000’s homeless.

Witnesses stated that most of the refugees affected by the current flooding and landslides have been nonetheless residing in squalid circumstances after shedding properties in that blaze.

“We’re having a nightmarish life,” even after escaping to Bangladesh, stated Mohammad Jubair, a Rohingya volunteer who stated he noticed a landslide destroy a complete hillside of shelters within the Balukhali refugee camp on Tuesday. A minimum of three folks, together with a mom and her two youngsters, have been killed, he stated.

Mr. Jubair, 22, added {that a} good friend was additionally injured by a tin sheet that minimize by his leg as he was attempting to flee the landslide.

The rains had been pouring since final week, aid employees stated. Issues rapidly grew worse on Tuesday because the floodwaters washed away a lot of the shanties.

Considered one of them belonged to Hadir Hussain and 6 members of his household within the Kutupalong refugee camp. Their shack, made out of bamboo sticks and a plastic sheet, was fully destroyed by the floods, he stated.

Mr. Hussain, 18, stated he didn’t know if it will ever be repaired.

“It’s a devastating scenario right here,” he stated.

Many individuals affected by the floods urgently want meals as a result of they’re unable to cook dinner, stated Hasina Akhter, the Cox’s Bazar space director for BRAC, a humanitarian company primarily based in Bangladesh. “Ladies and youngsters are struggling lots,” she stated. “Additionally they want medical assist, as they could have already got a chilly or a fever.”

On Wednesday, the United Nations refugee company said on Twitter that it was “deeply saddened” by the deaths of the refugees, which it stated had been attributable to “extreme climate occasions.”

“Persistent rain and powerful winds proceed,” it stated. “Our emergency response groups are within the camps, working in coordination” with the federal government and aid organizations.

Bangladesh, a low-lying nation of about 165 million folks the place monsoon rains arrive with a fury every year, is especially weak to local weather change, scientists say. Torrential rains submerged at least a quarter of the country final 12 months, leaving tens of millions of individuals with nothing. Up to now, rising sea ranges mixed with powerful cyclones have swallowed whole villages.

The floods have additionally struck the nation as it’s battling one of its worst coronavirus outbreaks. The health ministry reported almost 15,000 new infections on Tuesday and a document 258 deaths.

Bangladeshi officials have stated that vaccinations will quickly begin for Rohingya refugees who’re 55 and older.

Karan Deep Singh reported from New Delhi, and Saif Hasnat from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hannah Beech contributed reporting.

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