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Open defecation, disease fears: Rain brings woes at Nuh’s Rohingya refugee camps

MLA says he has met the deputy commissioner, apprised him of the situation

On Wednesday afternoon, several people made preparations to cook meals on a makeshift stove on top of bricks, using a gas cylinder, in the open at the camp, which has over 65 shanties. (Express photo)

Two camps of Rohingya refugees in Shahpur Nangli area in Haryana’s Nuh district have been inundated with rainwater following heavy downpour last week. With their shanties submerged, refugees say they are facing difficulties in using the washrooms, and fear an outbreak of diseases.

Mohammad Shoaib, a resident of Nangli 1 camp, said his house had over 2 feet of water for the past six days. “The latrines are flooded… due to stagnant water, the mud floor has become sludge and foul smell is forcing us to stay in the open. Some of our ration supplies were washed away. Since most shanties have a tarpaulin, water seeped through. We have kept the remaining food and valuables on chairs inside the house and are staying in the open. With dengue cases rising, we fear an outbreak, especially among children,” said Shoaib, a labourer.

On Wednesday afternoon, several people made preparations to cook meals on a makeshift stove on top of bricks, using a gas cylinder, in the open at the camp, which has over 65 shanties. The refugees said that besides help in ration supplies from NGOs, they had not received any assistance from the authorities.

Noor Alam, sarpanch of the Nangli 2 camp, said that people were forced to defecate in the open or were using a washroom at a nearby mosque or shops.

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“There are 36 shanties with at least 130 inhabitants here. Har jhuggi mein paani aa gaya tha. Some children are reporting symptoms of fever and stomach infection. Yesterday, six children were taken to a hospital for a check-up. We had stocked over 35,000 litres of drinking water, which we arranged through tankers, last week… Otherwise, the situation could have been dire. We have reached out to local NGOs for assistance in arranging medical supplies and relief material,” he said.

Ajay Kumar, deputy commissioner, Nuh, said, “Waterlogging was reported near the graveyard in Nangli area due to overflow of a pond and five machines and pumps were deployed to drain the water at the spot. Regarding waterlogging in houses at these camps, the matter has come to our notice and we will look into them and undertake relief measures.”

Subedin, from Nangli 1, said, “There is no adequate mechanism for drainage here, so rainwater often collects during monsoons. After the local MLA visited two days ago, pumps have been installed, but they are not enough to drain the rainwater.”

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Nuh MLA Aftab Ahmed said, “I met the deputy commissioner and apprised him of the situation. I visited the camps on Monday and arranged for four pumps, which have been deployed to drain out the water.”

First published on: 28-09-2022 at 08:42:52 pm
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