• Saturday, Dec 14, 2019
  • Last Update : 06:15 pm

Heavy rain destroys 273 Rohingya shelters in Cox’s Bazar

  • Published at 06:44 pm July 5th, 2019
In this file photo taken on October 12, 2017, a Rohingya refugee child carrries water during rain at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar's Ukhiya AFP

Emergency Response Teams has been mobilized to identify the needs of the most vulnerable

Three days of continuous rain has destroyed some 273 shelters and injured 11 people in Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar.

"We remain on high alert, ready to deploy additional emergency response teams to support our network of refugee volunteers and partners as needed," said United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) spokesperson Charlie Yaxley at a press briefing in Geneva on Friday.

To date, the 2019 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh has received only a third ($301 million) of the $920 million that is needed, according to UNHCR, reports UNB.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered the country since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown against them in Rakhine State of Myanmar.

Charlie Yaxley said an estimated 350mm of rain fell in 72 hours from Monday and more downpours are expected throughout next week, with four months of the monsoon season to go.

According to preliminary reports, there have been 26 landslides.

Refugee volunteers trained by UNHCR and partners worked throughout the night on Wednesday in heavy rain to help families in urgent need, said the UN Refugee Agency spokesperson.

"In some cases, this involved rescuing refugees from shelters destroyed by landslides. We've temporarily relocated 2,137 people, either because their shelters suffered substantial damage or as a precaution," Yaxley said.

The spokesperson said their network of Emergency Response Teams has been mobilized to identify the needs of the most vulnerable and prioritise them for assistance. 

"As an immediate response, pre-positioned emergency supplies are being distributed to help rebuild, repair and strengthen damaged shelters."

In support of the humanitarian response led by the Bangladeshi authorities, UNHCR and partners, including WFP and IOM, made preparedness for the monsoon season a priority, including building retaining structures on hillsides, installing drainage, and building roads and bridges, Yaxley said.

Reservoirs have been constructed to hold monsoon rains and stabilize water supplies, said the spokesperson.