Locals living on the slopes and foot of hills have urged the authorities concerned to rehabilitate them as they are unable to find alternative and permanent homes due to their financial constraints
When the monsoon rain begins, fear of landslides grip those living in the hill regions, especially on the hillsides in seven upazilas of Bandarban.
Several thousand people of low-income groups live on the slopes and foot of hills , but the authorities concerned are yet to take any visible steps to relocate them permanently to safer places.
According to sources, around 25,000 families are currently living in hillsides of seven upazilas namely Sadar, Lama, Naikhongchhari, Alikadam, Rowangchhari, Ruma and Thanci upazilas in the district.
At least 81 people including children were killed and 100 others were injured in landslides during monsoon in Bandarban between 2006 to 2018. Of them, 28 were killed in a single incident in Lama upazila in 2007.
Locals living on the slopes and foot of hills have urged the authorities concerned to rehabilitate them as they are unable to find alternative and permanent homes due to their financial constraints.
Hosne Ara Begum, who lives in the hillsides in Bandarban town, said they pass sleepless nights when heavy rainfall begins.
"We want the government to take steps to relocate us from the hill slopes to the safer places permanently." she added.
Anwar Hossain, a resident of Lama upazila, said that when the rainy season begins, the authorities concerned only tell us to move to safer places from our home for the time being."
"We will not live here if the authorities concerned can rehabilitate us permanently to other places." he added.
People are cutting hills, building houses on hills which is causing landslides and killing many people every year, according to sources of Soil and Water Conservation Centre in Bandarban.
However, according to district administration, around 126 shelters have been readied for the people living on the slopes of hills in the district in this rainy season.
Contacted, Bandarban Additional Deputy Commissioner Shamim Hossain, said: "We have ordered the inhabitants to come to shelters as the landslides risk increase during the rainy season."