The pristine island in the Bay of Bengal a far cry from the congested camps in Cox’s Bazar
As far as civic amenities are concerned, the first batch of Rohingyas, who will arrive in Bhashan Char within days, will lead a much better life here than in Cox’s Bazar.
Also, the residents will be better off in other aspects as the pristine island in the Bay of Bengal is a far cry from the congested camps in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar.
As part of the government plan to relocate little over 100,000 out of more than a million Rohingyas to decongest the settlements in Cox’s Bazar, nearly 2,500 persecuted people are expected to land in the island in a couple of days.
On a visit to the island organized by the government for a group of journalists from print and electronic media on Sunday and Monday, it was found that the living conditions here with respect to civic amenities would be much better than the settlements in Cox’s Bazar.
The island of Bhashan Char, which is administratively under Noakhali’s Hatiya upazila, has been ready to receive Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar for a long time. The island has been developed by the Bangladesh Navy at a cost of about Tk 3,100 crore.
During the trip to the island, it was seen that the project has been implemented based on the concept of cluster villages to house 101,360 Rohingyas.
All the buildings have been constructed four feet above the ground. Every cluster has 12 houses with 16 rooms and a four-storied steel-structured shelter station. There are 1,440 rooms and 120 shelter stations in 120 cluster villages. Every room can accommodate four people. In case of any calamities, 860 people can stay at the shelter stations, which, according to officials, can withstand cyclones at about speed of 260 kilometers an hour. Animals can be kept on the ground floor during the natural calamities. Every cluster has separate toilets for males and females and a kitchen having multiple ovens.
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Every shelter will be provided with electricity through solar power. Charcoal will be used for cooking purposes. There will also be an option for usage of LPG.
Four warehouses have been constructed that can store food for 100,000 Rohingyas for about three months. Telecommunication services are available.
Two 20-bed hospitals and four community clinics have been constructed. There is a police station and police post on the island to maintain law and order.
Arrangement has been made to manage all kinds of wastes.
There will be two playgrounds for the Rohingya children and there are little spaces available for playing in every cluster house.
There are also places for prayers, burial, and markets. Accommodations have been made available for officials of the government, UN and NGOs. There are also two helipads.
Trees are in abundance on the island. Furthermore, new trees are being planted.
There also exists farming of vegetables, fruits, fishes, ducks, swans, buffaloes, sheep, chickens and pigeons.