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Landslide victims reeling under water, sanitation crises

  • Published at 11:24 am June 22nd, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:39 pm June 22nd, 2017
Landslide victims reeling under water, sanitation crises
Landslide victims, who took sanctuary at different shelters in Rangamati town, have been suffering from acute drinking water crisis and lack of sufficient lavatories, while children and infants are getting infected with diseases. Over 160 people were killed and countless more injured from June 12 to June 18 in landslides caused by heavy downpour in Rangamati, Chittagong, Bandarban, Khagrachhari, Cox’s Bazar and Moulvibazar. According to locals, some 2,800 people have taken shelter at 19 protection centers in Rangamati after landslides hit over 30 parts of the district. People at the centres are being forced to collect drinking water from sources located far away from them, as water provided by the district administration is falling short of meeting their demand.
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Visiting several centers in the town, this correspondent found that women and children were the worst sufferers. “Twenty three families are living at the centre comprised of six rooms. Toilet facilities here are so poor that there is only one toilet for around 90 persons,” said Anu Ching Marma, who takes refuge in a shelter in front of the Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC). Another victim, Atashi Marma, said:  “Women have to suffer a lot because of lack of adequate toilet facilities. Apart from this, we are not getting sufficient drinking water.” Echoing Atashi, another woman named Rita Chakma said: "Males and females are using the same toilets, which is very uncomfortable. Also, we all are squeezing into a small, cramped room due to a lack of space.” Showing her brother’s one-year-old son, Salma Akter, who is living in a shelter near the BADC, said: “This boy is suffering from acute fever. His three-year-old sister has, too, become infected after coming here."
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Medical teams were, however, seen providing medicine at different centres. Sources at the district administration said mobile toilets were set up there. Manjarul Mannan, deputy commissioner in Rangamati, told a press briefing: “Some 90 mobile toilets will be set up at different centres where the victims were staying, and each family will be given a jar for storing water."