Rohingya refugees build shelter with bamboo at the Jamtoli camp in the morning in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, January 22, 2018. (Mohammad Ponir Hossain/REUTERS)

Humanitarian agencies helping Rohingyas brace for devastating monsoon rains


Humanitarian agencies working to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are racing to prepare the impromptu refugee camps that have sprung up along the country’s southeastern border with Myanmar for the arrival of devastating monsoon rains in late May or early June.

The United Nation’s International Organization for Migration estimates that at least 100,000 Rohingya in the community of Cox’s Bazar face life-threatening risks from landslides and floods, and thousands more are at risk of disease and being cut off from assistance.

“With emergency situations inevitable when the rains hit, it is crucial we work together now to limit disaster as much as possible before it occurs,” Manuel Marques Pereira, the IOM Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar, said in a statement Tuesday.

“We need to be able to respond swiftly and effectively during crisis events.”

‘Not built to withstand heavy downpours’

Rohingya refugees are seen at the Jamtoli camp in the morning in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, January 22, 2018. (Mohammad Ponir Hossain/REUTERS)

Zia Choudhury, CARE Bangladesh’s Country Director, said the concentration of refugees in the Cox’s Bazar area is now among the densest in the world.

“The temporary shelters and structures are not built to withstand heavy downpours,” Choudhury said in a statement.

“Our teams have been trainings refugees on key safe construction techniques, information on how to stabilize their tents and have provided building materials such as tools and bamboo.”

UN officials said they are providing search and rescue training, setting up emergency medical centres, establishing bases for work crews and light machinery and upgrading the temporary shelters to mitigate the risk of disasters.

Racing against time

Rohingya refugees carry bamboo to build shelter at Jamtoli camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, January 22, 2018. (Mohammad Ponir Hossain/REUTERS)

Crews are also working to improve roads and drainage, stabilize slopes to prevent landslides and erosion, and set up early warning systems.

Of particular concern are the communal latrines and bathing places that could be flooded and released over a wide area during the long rainy season that lasts until October.

“We have also started to decommission unusable latrines and are simultaneously building newer and safer ones to reduce the risk of disease outbreaks,” Choudhury added.

In addition, IOM has created disaster risk reduction safety committees to warn refugees of what to expect and how to prepare for the wind and rain that are expected to bring deadly floods and landslides.

The UN agencies and the humanitarian NGOs working with the refugees are even planning to conduct an emergency drill on March 1 to test their response measures.

Since late August 2017, nearly 700,000 members of Myanmar’s minority Muslim Rohingya community have fled the majority Buddhist country following a brutal security crackdown that the UN has called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

They have joined some 200,000 Rohingya refugees displaced in earlier bouts of violence.

Categories: Immigration & Refugees, International
Tags: , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.