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Bracing for the monsoon

  • Published at 03:01 pm June 3rd, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:08 pm June 4th, 2018

We must meet the challenge of continuing our humanitarian work

The hundreds of thousands of Rohingya living in refugee camps in Bangladesh have fled one enemy, but are now facing another -- this time a natural one.

Although considerable work has been done in the previous months to shelter the refugees from natural disasters, the bleak reality of the matter is that some 200,000 people in the camps could presently be at risk of landslides or flooding.

 It is admirable that the UNHCR and various partner organizations have worked round the clock to mitigate some of the risks with the refugee settlements, as well as relocate some of the families that could lose their homes in landslides to safer areas.

Shelters should be built to house the more vulnerable families, and it is good to see that initiative has already been taken to install such shelters and services on the 12 acres of newly prepared land which could protect nearly 500 families.

Bangladesh became an example for the world when it opened its doors to the persecuted Rohingya, who were fleeing across to our country from Myanmar’s Rakhine state -- but now we must meet the challenge of continuing our humanitarian work.

That means, it is not enough to let the Rohingya live in the camps -- we must make sure their living conditions are acceptable, and that natural disasters do not pose a major threat to their lives.

It is now of utmost importance to move the refugees to safety, but while doing so, we must not neglect their other pressing needs -- food and water.