It has been well-established by now exactly how much Bangladesh has done for the Rohingya fleeing persecution in Myanmar.
Our country has taken in refugees in the hundreds of thousands, providing them with much-needed aid -- with the help of various third parties and NGOs -- where nearly every other neighbouring country has been hesitant in doing so.
With that in mind, the government’s current plans to build the world’s biggest refugee camp in Kutupalong, one that will be capable of housing more than 800,000 refugees, is admirable -- but it presents some clear concerns over the matters of health care.
By concentrating too many people in one space, a refugee camp of such size leaves enough scope for deadly diseases to spread like wildfire. And given how vulnerable the Rohingya, who have managed to take refuge in our land, are, ruling out such a possibility might be disastrous.
To that end, a UN spokesperson’s recent recommendation to establish numerous camps throughout the country, could, ideally, bypass such a disaster.
But we must ask: Isn’t it a better idea for the refugees to be given shelter in entirely different countries? Surely that would help contain any disease-related disasters in a more efficient way?
We need to deal with this issue more realistically.
Spreading the Rohingya around the country might sound like a good idea, but given how climate-vulnerable the more fringe areas of Bangladesh are, we would just be putting the refugees in harm’s way in another fashion.
Bangladesh has already shown that it can lead by example, and it’s time that other nations followed in our steps.