Over 1,000 New Shelters Built for Rohingya Refugees Threatened by Landslides



Rohingya refugees walk past new emergency shelters built by IOM shelter teams in the Camp 20 Extension, Cox’s Bazar. Photo: IOM July 2018.

Cox’s Bazar, 24 July 2018 (IOM)*  – Shelter teams from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, working with over 19,000 Rohingya refugee and local labourers, this week completed the construction of over 1,000 new shelters as part of a rapid response project to help move refugee families most at risk from landslides during the monsoon.

In just over a month, 1,150 of the “Robust Emergency Shelters” have been built with the support of refugee and host communities, who have helped with the construction and transported materials to the new site known as Camp 20 Extension.

Almost a million Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Myanmar are currently living in tarpaulin and bamboo shelters on hilly land in the Cox’s Bazar region of southern Bangladesh – an area prone to some of the world’s worst monsoon conditions.

IOM and partner organisations are working to move thousands of families whose shelters are most at risk from soil erosion and landslides during the monsoon. Hillsides stripped of vegetation during the initial influx of refugees in late August 2017 have become increasingly unstable.

The new shelters, which have been directly constructed by the IOM shelter programme, use techniques designed to make them more durable during the heavy rains. They are built on land prepared and made safe under the Site Maintenance Engineering Project – a joint initiative between IOM, WFP and UNHCR.

“This is an important achievement and a testament to the incredibly hard work of IOM’s shelter teams, the joint efforts of the SMEP initiative, and of course the refugees and host community themselves,” said Manuel Pereira, IOM’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“Everyone involved has put an immense effort into making this land safer and creating robust shelters where families facing the very real danger of landslides can now live more securely. But we desperately need more funding for this work to continue,” he said.

Ambi Khatu, a 60-year-old woman originally from Buthidaung in Myanmar’s North Rakhine State, is among those who have moved into the new shelters.

“My (previous) shelter was damaged in a landslide. The mud overflowed into my house. I feel here is a good place. I feel better,” she said, showing off the small plot of pumpkin seedlings she recently planted outside her new shelter.

IOM has played a lead role in meeting the shelter needs of those affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Since February this year, almost 43,200 households have received shelter upgrade kits, while 41,500 households have been given shelter upgrades and disaster risk reduction orientation.

Since May, over 37,300 households have also received tie-down kits to further secure their shelters.


More reading:

‘Heartbreaking Accounts’ of Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh’ Suffering

Myanmar: International Accountability Needed for Military-Planned Genocide against Rohingya–Report

UN Human Rights Chief Urges Security Council to Refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court ‘Immediately’ for Probe into Rohingya Crisis

Myanmar: Military Top Brass Must Face Justice for Crimes against Humanity Targeting Rohingya

Failure to Support the One Million Rohingya Refugees Living in Cox’s Bazar “Would Have Tragic Outcomes” – UN Migration Chief 

Rohingya Cannot Become ‘Forgotten Victims’ – Guterres

New Identity Cards Deliver Recognition and Protection for Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Women-Friendly Spaces for Rohingya Refugees

“With the Monsoon in Full Swing, It Would Take Just One Storm to Wash Us All Away” – Rohingya Refugees

Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs ‘Immense’ among Rohingya Refugees

More HERE.

2018 Human Wrongs Watch



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