It is an understatement to say that Bangladesh has done a lot for the Rohingya.
Where the rest of the world remained inert, our nation, our people, stepped in and gave them shelter from years of persecution at the hands of their government.
Which is why it is rather disheartening to learn that the circumstances under which the refugees have been living are less than ideal.
Reports of UN aid to the Rohingya being sold in local Cox’s Bazar market is worrying, to say the least.
It is indicative of a far larger problem regarding their living conditions, with severe risk of disease outbreaks and a potential for disaster should an environmental hazard take place.
While Bangladesh has done more than its fair share in taking care of the fleeing Rohingya people, the living conditions which the Rohingya find themselves in cannot be allowed to deteriorate to the point where they continue to suffer.
Sources indicate that they are selling excess rations for money -- the pertinent question is why they require to do so in the first place, and why to such an extent?
First, conditions inside the camps, which as of now remain under heavy protection with limited access to the press, must be forcing their hands. We must work to ensure that this is not the case, and that their needs are met.
Second, the Rohingya, due to the extreme squalor from which they have come, carry with them various health risks, with reports suggesting that there is a significant portion of the population carrying the HIV virus, with the emergence of diphtheria exacerbating the situation.
It is imperative that such health hazards be dealt with quickly.
The other concern remains the precarious location in which the camps are situated, which is extremely vulnerable to environmental calamities. A typhoon or a landslide could result in thousands of Rohingya losing their lives, and this has never been more likely as Bangladesh remains one of the countries most susceptible to the effects of climate change.
Taking in the Rohingya was only the beginning, we trust the government will do everything in its power to ensure that they are given the level of care and attention they need.