Pelting rain, relocation add to woes in Rohingya Muslim camp

On Tuesday and Wednesday, groups of weary Rohingya were carrying whatever they could salvage from their submerged shelters and walking toward the new camps to build shelters all over again.

By: AP | Published: September 20, 2017 11:15:27 am
rohingya camps, rohingya camps rain, rohingya move rain, rohingya shift camps rain, heavy rain in rohingya camps, rohingya muslim rain, indian express news Rohingya Muslims who crossed over recently from Myanmar into Bangladesh, cross a flooded area to find alternate shelter after their camp was inundated with rainwater near Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. With a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims sparking accusations of ethnic cleansing from the United Nations and others, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said her country does not fear international scrutiny and invited diplomats to see some areas for themselves. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Monsoon rains, relocations and extortion attempts are worsening the living situation in the Bangladeshi camps for Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar.

Several Rohingya camps in this coastal city are flooded from three days of unrelenting rains. People in the camps were being pelted with heavy rain Wednesday while desperately packing their meagre belongings into plastic sacks and bits of clothes and trying to find new shelter

The initial arrivals in the most recent exodus simply settled on whatever patch of land they could find, building shelters of bamboo sticks and plastic sheets.

But as their numbers soared to more than 420,000 in a matter of weeks, the local government has started moving them to newly allocated refugee camp areas. Many refused to move, terrified of being without shelter at all. But the rains washed away many shanties or made them uninhabitable.

So they’re moving again. Most of them are being sent to the new settlement of Balukhali in Cox’s Bazar.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, groups of weary Rohingya were carrying whatever they could salvage from their submerged shelters and walking toward the new camps to build shelters all over again.

rohingya camps, rohingya camps rain, rohingya move rain, rohingya shift camps rain, heavy rain in rohingya camps, rohingya muslim rain, indian express news Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over recently from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carry their belongings and leave their flooded camp for alternate shelter near Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. More than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the past year, most of them in the last three weeks, after security forces and allied mobs retaliated to a series of attacks by Muslim militants last month by burning down thousands of Rohingya homes in the predominantly Buddhist nation. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

If the rain doesn’t ease soon, the flimsy homes may become useless at best and dangerous at worst. The area is prone to mudslides during the seasonal monsoon that have already proven deadly this year.

For Abul Bashar, that concern will come later, if at all. For now, he needs to shelter his family of 12 from the rain.

They were made to pull up the shelters they had first built on an open field. Now they’ve moved to Balukhali.

But like all crises, the Rohingya exodus is an opportunity for exploitation and a camp mafia is taking advantage.

Bashar doesn’t have the 2,000 taka to pay them to set up a shelter in this camp.

The family slept in the tent of an acquaintance, but things are tight for everyone, and Bashar says he must find a shelter of his own soon.

He has plastic sheets and bamboo sticks. Just no money to buy a spot.

Hafizullah, 55, has the same problem. He doesn’t have the 2,000 taka needed to secure a spot.

rohingya camps, rohingya camps rain, rohingya move rain, rohingya shift camps rain, heavy rain in rohingya camps, rohingya muslim rain, indian express news Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over recently from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carry their belongings and leave their flooded camp for alternate shelter near Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. More than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the past year, most of them in the last three weeks, after security forces and allied mobs retaliated to a series of attacks by Muslim militants last month by burning down thousands of Rohingya homes in the predominantly Buddhist nation. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

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