Unstable hillsides stripped of trees brings an increasing threat of landslides
Heavy monsoonal rain falling across Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Myanmar in the last few days has added to the misery of living conditions for more than 900,000 Rohingya people living in refugee camps around Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
The monsoon has brought increased discomfort to those already coping with the multiple challenges of displacement: blocked drains, overflowing latrines, the risk of losing shelter, and a heightened threat of landslides.
“Camp life has become extremely messy and muddy due to the heavy and continuous rain,” said James Rana, Tearfund’s Rohingya Response Manager in Bangladesh. “We’ve immediately increased our existing programs to clear blocked drains, desludge latrines and strengthen temporary shelters,” he explained.
Many thousands of Rohingya people left their homes in Myanmar after violence flared in August 2017, joining others who had already fled to refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Most have been surviving in extremely basic conditions, with little prospect of returning home. Of these, an estimated 7,700 are orphans.
“We’ve heard so many challenging accounts, like 12-year-old Rojeya* who saw her childhood home burnt down. She tried to escape with her family but her two brothers were killed in front of her, one set on fire and one thrown into the river.”
- Steve Collins, Tearfund’s head of Asia region
Children like Rojeya benefit from our ongoing work to create safe spaces for young people in the refugee camps. We’ve set up clubs for both teenagers and younger children, providing a place where they can meet, read, play, draw, write poetry, talk to trained therapists, receive education and sing songs together.
However, we must keep a close watch on 15 districts of northern Bangladesh, where rivers are rising to dangerous levels. We’re working with partners to closely monitor the impact of floods; in Nepal, 65 people have been killed, and in Assam, India, around 800 villages have been affected.
*name changed to protect identity
• For families who live in areas at risk of floods and landslides, that they will have access to safe shelter.
• For those most vulnerable, especially the orphans who rely on support for their protection and survival.
• Pray also that Tearfund’s partners will be able to reach people in greatest need.
Please help those who are suffering by donating to Tearfund’s Rohingya Emergency Crisis: