Preparations on to save Rohingyas from onslaught of nature
The government is planning to set up 18 more camps for Rohingyas for security reasons and save them from the onslaught of adverse weather and environment.
As per the decision, 18 more camps will be established in Teknaf and Ukhiya upazilas of Cox's Bazar along with two officially registered camps at Kutupalong and Nayapara, official sources said.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam tweeted on Monday: "The government and foreign friends are working relentlessly to finish those before the monsoon."
Work on camps to save Rohingyas from natural disaster during the rainy season is in progress, he said.
According to the sources in the Foreign Ministry the government needs to do Rohingya headcount and know about the actual situation on the ground so that they do not conflict with Myanmar during the repatriation process.
"We are planning to expand camps on allocated forest land for them. Currently, many Rohingyas are living in makeshift shelters on 4,901 acres of forest land," an official said.
Most of them now live in shabby makeshift shelters in overcrowded camps built on steep and precarious sandy slopes at grave risk of deadly landslides and flooding, it said.
"We are planning to bring all the Rohingyas under fencing in 20 camps. There will be 20 administrative officers for smooth operation of the humanitarian supports ," Abdul Mannan, Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong, told a meeting of the Divisional Committee on Identifying Intruded Myanmar Nationals recently.
The Foreign Ministry said with the support of foreign friends local and international NGOs are helping to provide lifesaving shelter, medical care, protection and other vital services to Rohingyas and host communities in the Cox's Bazar area.
Since August 25 last year about 7 lakh Rohingyas had to cross into Bangladesh to escape the atrocities orchestrated by the Myanmar security forces and local Buddhist mobs.
This figure is in addition to about 4.5 lakh Rohingya refugees already living in the country for a long time. Considering humanitarian ground, the government allowed the Rohingyas to cross into Bangladesh and arranged for their stay at designated camps in Cox's Bazar.
As per the report of the Cox's Bazar district police till January 28 they have halted some 48,283 Rohingyas at different check posts while they were trying to spread from the camps to other parts of the country.
It was said that more than 688,000 Rohingyas had sought safety in Cox's Bazar area of Bangladesh since late August 2017 after fleeing violence in Myanmar with more continuing to arrive every week.
Even in last week more than 500 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh and some more are still standing in bordering areas to get entry to Bangladesh.
International agencies are monitoring the situation. They have begun massive shelter upgrade for Rohingya refugee camps and launched a roll out of materials to help 120,000 families ahead of the monsoon season, officials said.
"The government has decided to bring Rohingyas within restricted areas to be covered by 20 camps to ensure their security and control their movement from spreading across the country.
Although the government's ultimate target is to repatriate the Rohingyas at the earliest, their security will be ensured as long as they are here and their spread will have to be stopped," the official added.