Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | ePaper

Muslim Ummah must come more strongly to save Rohingya refugees

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LIVING in the makeshift houses which are sometimes merely plastic wraps, the Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar refugee camps are highly exposed to torrential rains. News media reported that landslides killed a two-year-old Rohingya infant and injured his mother on Monday while more than 100 shanties on hill slopes have been damaged, injuring two on Saturday. Local authorities and international aid agencies have long been warning about a looming natural disaster during the monsoon in the densely populated camps. But inadequate precautionary measures are taken due to poor aid inflow and lack of proper coordination against 11 lakh Rohingya refugees. It is feared that rain would help to break out water-borne diseases. Local and international communities should come up with humanitarian assistance to protect the most persecuted population of the world.
A joint study carried out by UNHCR, IOM and Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre presented in February showed that around 200,000 Rohingyas are at risk of landslides and flash floods in the monsoon. Local sources said rains have already devastated some parts of the camps and turned some dirt roads into quagmires, hindering the movement of refugees and relief materials. It's just the beginning and the entire monsoon season is ahead of us.
We know, Rohingya refugees are living in very congested and precarious locations. A majority of them still needs to be relocated to safer places. Several thousand Rohingyas have been affected in the rain that damaged about 1,300 shelters since June 9. Many Rohingyas have been taken to local schools, madrasahs, and nearby shelters as their sheds collapsed during the incessant rain. Bangladesh Meteorological Department has forecasted that heavy rains may continue in Cox's Bazar district for few more days.
We sheltered the refugees in the biggest humanitarian crisis and now they need more assistance from us. Muslim Ummah should come up with their Zakat, Fitrah and other financial obligations to protect the lives of the Rohingya people - the prime lesson of Eid-ul-Fitr that is expected to be observed on Saturday.

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