Bangladesh to build 14,000 shel­ters for Ro­hingya refugees

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD - AGEN­CIES

Bangladesh will build 14,000 new shel­ters to house the hun­dreds of thou­sands of Ro­hingya Mus­lim refugees camp­ing on road­sides, in fields and on hills, an of­fi­cial said on Saturday.

Ac­cord­ing to the UN nearly 400,000 Ro­hingya have ar­rived in Bangladesh since Au­gust 25 af­ter flee­ing a mil­i­tary crack­down launched by Myan­mar's mil­i­tary in re­sponse to at­tacks by Ro­hingya rebels.

Bangladesh au­thor­i­ties said they would build a mas­sive camp on a 2,000 acre (800 hectare) plot of land near an ex­ist­ing Ro­hingya refugee camp in Ku­tu­pa­long in Cox's Bazar dis­trict, which bor­ders Myan­mar.

"The govern­ment has de­cided to build 14,000 shel­ters for some 400,000 Ro­hingya," Bangladesh's dis­as­ter man­age­ment sec­re­tary Shah Ka­mal told AFP.

"We have been told to build the shel­ters in 10 days. Each shel­ter will house six refugee fam­i­lies," he said, adding the camp would have proper san­i­ta­tion, wa­ter and med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties.

"We would take help from the UN agen­cies," he said. The govern­ment so­cial wel­fare agency would take care of Ro­hingya chil­dren who had lost their par­ents in the vi­o­lence or who ar­rived un­ac­com­pa­nied in Bangladesh, he said. A lo­cal rights ex­pert slammed the govern­ment for the chaotic re­lief man­age­ment, say­ing fights were break­ing out each time an aid truck ar­rived. AFP cor­re­spon­dents on the scene have wit­nessed such in­ci­dents.

"Refugees are still pour­ing in. But there is no at­tempt to bring dis­ci­pline and or­der in the aid man­age­ment. There is a se­ri­ous lack of co­or­di­na­tion among the govern­ment and the agen­cies," Nur Khan Li­ton said. "Still a lot of peo­ple are stay­ing on the road­sides and in open space.

Ro­hingya Mus­lim refugees in Jal­pa­toli refugee camp in the no-man's land area be­tween Myan­mar and Bangladesh watch as Myan­mar sol­diers pa­trol on the other side of the bor­der, near Gumd­hum vil­lage in Ukhia on Saturday AFP

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