Nearly 300,000 of the 1 million people living in 9,657 hectares of hill areas in Cox’s Bazar are directly facing landslide risk.
Every year the district administration takes up initiatives to relocate these people to safety during monsoon, but the inhabitants keep coming back to their risky residences.
Some 300 people including 10 army personnel were killed in landslides in Cox’s Bazar and other other hill districts in the past 10 years.
Around 2.3 million people live in Cox’s Bazar, of whom 300,000 live in the risky 9,657 hectares of areas that are used to make illegal accommodations for 13,826 families.
According to district administration statistics, on July 4 and 6 in 2008, 13 people including four of a family were killed in landslide in Fakira Mura and Tuinya areas of Teknaf.
In 2009, five people were killed in Chakariya, Ukhiya and Ramu.
On June 15, 2010, a total of 62 people including six army men were killed in Himchhari of Cox’s Bazaar.
In 2011, 19 people were killed in landslides in the district.
On June 26-27, 2012, the death toll rose to 29.
In 2015, five people were killed in the destruction of radar hill in Cox’s Bazar city.
In 2016, the number of people dead from landslides was 17.
In the latest landslides in Rangamati, Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Chittagong on June 13 this year, nearly 150 people including four army personnel were killed.
Rampant hill cutting and building accommodations illegally in different areas of Cox’s Bazar have led to these tragedies in these hill districts.
The divisional officer of southern hill tracts of Cox’s Bazar said rehabilitations are being arranged for Cox’s Bazar’s 300,000 people while initiatives have been taken to increase awareness among these people.
Sarder Shariful Islam, assistant director of Environmental Administration of Cox’s Bazar, said actions are being taken against hill-cutters. He, however, mentioned shortage of manpower in his department to carry out all activities smoothly.
District Administrator Md Ali has also confirmed that strict measures are being taken against illegal housing and hill cutting.