Save The Children Preparing For Monsoon Period In Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar Refugee Camps
Category: Save the Children
Aid agencies such as Save the Children are waiting in dread of the monsoon season which will arrive at the refugee camp’s in Cox’s Bazar that now houses almost a million Rohingya. Last month the camp received its first set of heavy rains which were part of what is known as the pre-monsoon season which are common at that time of year. The devastating monsoon season in Bangladesh starts properly around this time of year. That is to say either late May or early June.
Rains expected to wreak havoc
Daphnee Cook who is a Save the Children spokesperson working in Cox’s Bazar says as the agency feared the first deluge of rains wreaked havoc in the camps. Multiple low-lying areas in the camp were completely flooded making already hard to reach areas much more difficult to get to. Ms Cook says aid agencies grew quite alarmed as they saw how quickly the rains converted dirt into mud as well the formation of puddles the size of wading pools. She adds that the rains mean that the Rohingya families who fled persecution in Myanmar are in for even harder times as the Monsoon comes into effect.
Conditions already grim
Not only do these refugees have to contend with grim conditions in overcrowded camps and have to depend on food rations to survive, now they have to worry about the prospect of heavy rains, storms and the potential dangers of flooding and landslides. All the excess water means there is a much higher probability of outraces of disease. Aid workers are worried that children may find themselves separated from their families or caregivers. The children may well develop skin disease in response to all the additional humidity in the air as well.
Already preparing for the deluge
Over the last few months, Save the Children has accelerated its preparation for the monsoon and has already begun to distribute shelter upgrade kits to the homes that face the greatest threat. The agency has also made improvements to critical infrastructure such as drains and bridges as well as making sure hillsides that are prone to landslides are reinforced. Ms Cook says that it is vital that the international community provides the necessary funding for the humanitarian response before the monsoon is in full effect.
Cyclone season is another big worry
Ms Cook adds that her agency would like to see land that has better access and is more usable be provided in Cox’s Bazar so that the refugee families that are most at risk by living in flood or landslide prone areas can be relocated. To make matters worse Ms Cox says the timing of the monsoon also coincides with the beginning of the cyclone season in the region. This means if a major storm were to hit the refugee camp, it would be nothing short of an absolute disaster.
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