Bangladesh floods displace thousands of Rohingya refugees
UN says more than 21,000 refugees ‘affected’ by the flooding, nearly 4,000 shelters have been damaged or destroyed.
Rohingya refugees fish in floodwaters following heavy rains at the Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh [Shafiqur Rahman/AP]
30 Jul 2021
Heavy monsoon rains triggered landslides and flash floods in refugee camps displacing thousands of Rohingya Muslims in southeastern Bangladesh this week, UN and other officials said on Friday, with further heavy rainfall expected.
At least six Rohingya, including three children, died in landslides and flooding while 15 Bangladeshis were killed and more than 200,000 stranded by flooding in Cox’s Bazar, said Mamunur Rashid, the district administrator.
Nearly one million Rohingya live in crowded camps in the border district of Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest refugee settlement, after fleeing a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar in 2017.
The refugees mostly live in shacks made of bamboo and plastic sheets that cling to steep, bare hills.
Rohingya refugee children play in floodwaters at the Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh [Shafiqur Rahman/AP]
TV footage showed flooded homes and muddy water cascading down steps and hillsides with children playing in chest-high waters.
“This is like a nightmare,” said Rohingya Rokeya Begum, according to Reuters news agency.
“I have never seen such flooding in the camps in four years. When the water came, there was nobody from my family at home to help. I was alone but I could take my belongings to a safer place. Now I am staying with another family.”
More than 20,000 affected
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said more than 21,000 refugees had been “affected” by the flooding while nearly 4,000 shelters had been damaged or destroyed.
It said more than 13,000 were forced to relocate in the camps, while thousands of facilities were damaged, including health clinics and toilets. Access has been hindered due to damage to roads, pathways and bridges.
And the flooding is likely to get worse.

“Heavy rainfall is expected during the next few days, and as such, challenges are likely to increase,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, deputy chief of mission in Bangladesh for the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“Despite multiple disaster risk reduction measures being implemented, the camp congestion, excessive rain and poor soil quality, make it extremely difficult to cope with the elements,” he added.
‘Belongings covered in mud’
Refugees, many of them still recovering from huge fires that tore through the camps in March, said landslides and floods left homes “totally covered with mud”.
“Somehow my family members could evacuate,” said Abu Siddique, who lives in the Balukhali refugee camp.
“The mud that came down from the hill entered my home … All of our belongings inside are covered in mud.”
Last month two Rohingya refugees were killed in separate landslides during heavy rain.
Fatalities from rain-triggered mudslides are common in Bangladesh’s southeastern hilly region during the monsoon season that generally lasts between June and September.
At least 149 people were killed in landslides in the districts of Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati and Bandarban in June 2017.
More than 120 others were killed in Chattogram alone in June 2007 due to mudslides caused by monsoon rain.
Bangladesh evacuates 10,000 Rohingya after deadly landslides
Rohingya from refugee camps as well as local residents moved to safer areas after 14 killed in landslides, flash floods.
28 Jul 2021
Deadly landslides, flooding hit Rohingya camps in Bangladesh
Thousands of refugees relocated after monsoon rains trigger landslides and flash floods in the camps in Cox’s Bazar.
27 Jul 2021
Mosque in Indian capital’s Rohingya camp bulldozed: Refugees
Rohingya living in camp at New Delhi’s Madanpur Khader area accuse authorities of demolishing makeshift mosque.
22 Jul 2021
Bangladesh plans to vaccinate Rohingya against COVID: Official
Initial focus to be on some 50,000 Rohingya above 55, to be vaccinated with the help of UN agencies, says official.
16 Jul 2021
Palestinian NGOs designated as ‘terrorist’ call for support
Muqtada al-Sadr: Iraq’s kingmaker in uncertain times
Turkey’s Erdogan orders expulsion of 10 Western ambassadors
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia vows zero carbon emissions by 2060
Harvesting ‘true cinnamon’: The story of the Ceylon spice
More clashes as banned TLP continues protest in Pakistan
Trump’s new social media backer tied to China lifestyle venture
UN fears ‘mass atrocity crimes’ in northern Myanmar
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2021 Al Jazeera Media Network