Humanitarian Works Halted, Rohingya Refugees Face Miseries in Bangladesh
By Md Elias
Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh (Rohingya Vision) — The Rohingya Refugees in a refugee camp of Cox’s Bazaar District, Bangladesh, are facing severe crises resulting from the shortage of drinking water, sanitation and other health related issues, the refugees in the camps said.
The crises have prevailed as the Bangladesh Government has halted the humanitarian works and assistances by a few INGOS known as ‘Muslim Aid’ and ‘NGOForum’ to the refugee camps in ‘Ledaa’ area of the district.
The INGOs used to distribute drinking water; and clean up garbage, dirty drains and lavatories in the Rohingya Refugee camps. But since January 22 this year, Bangladesh has banned any INGOs from providing aids to the refugee camps not yet registered by UNHCR.
“As the NGOs were banned from providing humanitarian assistances to us, we have started facing severe crises in our camps. Now, we don’t have clean and drinking water. Our drains and lavatories have become filled with dirt. We find no way to clean them and nowhere to throw them away.
The situation is extremely harmful and may invite many unwanted diseases” said a Rohingya refugee in the camp.
“However, we need drinkable water to survive as a temporary solution. So, we go to fetch water from the nearby streams of the hillsides.
Some local miscreants always hide in the bushes to ambush on us. They harass, kidnap and rape our girls and women. Recently, two refugee girls have been abducted and gone missing as they went to fetch water.
Our situation is really vulnerable. Therefore, we request the Government of Bangladesh to resume the access of the NGOs to our camps to help us to prevent our situation from becoming even worse” he continued.
Some 20,000 Rohingya refugees have been registered by UNHCR under its mandate, whereas thousands are unregistered yet and have been living under squalid and sub-human condition along the Naff River in Bangladesh. Most of them have become refugees through mass exodus of Rohingyas caused by a brutal operation called ‘Operation Pye Thaya’ by the former military junta of Myanmar (Burma) in early 1990s.