Exceptionally heavy monsoon rains in Bangladesh have led to flooding and landslides in Cox’s Bazar, home to almost a million Rohingya refugees.
Eight people were killed – five from one family – and thousands more have had their homes washed away or flooded, while communal latrines are unusable and clean water is unavailable. Home gardens which allow households to grow their own food have also been destroyed.
International humanitarian organisation Concern Worldwide is planning to provide emergency food items such as rice cakes, sugar, bread and bottled water, along with hygiene and health kits and non-food items, as requested by local authorities in response to the floods.
“The rains are ongoing and prolonged, and the level of damage is expected to increase over the coming days. People affected by fires in March are now severely impacted by flooding.”
The disruption comes at a time when people were beginning to rebuild their homes and lives after a large fire in the camp forced 50,000 of them to flee their shelters earlier this year.
The floods also heighten the risk of water-borne diseases, which along with Covid-19, is yet another threat to the health of the Rohingya refugees living in the camp.
Bangladesh registered the highest number of new coronavirus cases and deaths within a single day on Monday. A two-week lockdown was imposed by the government last Friday, with people urged to stay indoors at all times.
“The most severe rains to hit Cox’s Bazar in years have resulted in disastrous flooding that has overwhelmed the Rohingya refugees and some of the poorest communities in Bangladesh,” said Ms McLysaght.
“Despite the constraints, Concern is continuing with its life-saving nutrition programme for malnourished children and pregnant women in the refugee camps.”
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