• Monday, Mar 01, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:40 pm

ED: So far so good

  • Published at 02:14 am January 19th, 2021
bhashan char
Photo: AFP

The amenities at Bhashar Char have been carefully thought-out

From the very moment that the Bashan Char project was announced, the plan to relocate Rohingya refugees to these improved accommodations has been met with strong criticism from the international community. But now, after two batches of refugees have been relocated, and a third batch of 2,000 people all set to be moved by the end of this month, it would seem that the critics were mistaken, and that Bhashan Char is indeed a great improvement over the Cox’s Bazar camps. As a senior Navy officer involved in the relocation commented: “So far so good.”

In December, two batches were taken to their new homes, amid much controversy -- a controversy which was somewhat undeserved and unfair. Critics said Bhashan Char would not be fit for habitation, but journalists were invited by the government to scrutinize the facilities. It was found that Bhashan Char, with a robust investment of Tk3,100cr, was indeed objectively far superior to the previous accommodations. 

In fact, the amenities at Bhashar Char have been carefully thought-out. For example, all buildings have been constructed four feet above ground, and houses have been organized into clusters. Each cluster has its own shelters station -- places which are designed to withstand natural calamities, and where animals can also be kept safe.  

The Bhashan Char infrastructure includes hospital, community clinics, a police station, separate toilets for men and women, and modern waste management systems. Solar power will be used to generate electricity, in a win for clean energy. Furthermore, there are playground spaces allocated in the Bhashan Char grounds for Rohingya children, something of a rarity in our overcrowded cities. 

It is easy to criticize, of course, without offering better solutions, which, sadly, the world community has largely done during this crisis. Bhashar Char is not the ultimate solution to end the refugee crisis, but it is an improvement in the quality of life for the Rohingya, who have suffered so much.

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