In Bangladesh, aid workers warn monsoon season threatens around 200,000 Rohingya refugees.
CGTN’s Ravinder Bawa reports that officials are racing to prevent catastrophe.
Sayeda Khatun thinks of her three year old son Mohammed Fakran, who she lost on June 17 to heavy rains when the wall of her house fell on them while they were asleep. She did not have enough money to afford the extra bamboo so the family had to make a mud wall which became the cause of her loss.
“I feel miserable. I am sad. As a mother I cannot bear this pain. What to do It was god’s will so this happened. I just have to accept it. I am feeling sad and am missing my son,” said Khatun.
Rohingya refugees live in congested refugee camps in makeshift shelters on hilly areas without any protection from storms and rains. This part of the country records highest rainfall and is prone to cyclones. Aid and government officials have been facing challenges in moving refugees to safer areas.
New shelters are being constructed on war footing as the monsoons have entered Bangladesh. The warning of a human catastrophe is forcing the authorities to engage huge manpower to make bamboo and tarpaulin homes suitable for relocating refugees.
Refugees like Sanjida Khatun are reluctant to relocate as it is the second uprooting for them since they crossed the border from Myanmar August last year after a military crackdown. She protests that new shelters are not big enough to accommodate her family of eight.
“There will be no landslide. We will not die. But we will face many difficulties here. After meals we will have no space to rest or sit. We were promised comfort here but we will be uncomfortable,” Khatun said.
These shanties will be the only shelters for the refugees when harsher weather hits the coast. In the absence of proper cyclone shelters this will be the only place where they can hide to against the high winds or cyclones which are common here.