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Bangladesh: 30 days until a catastrophic monsoon

Published on Tuesday 24 April 2018

Since the 25th of August 2017, 687,000 Rohingya populations have settled in the southern part of Cox’s Bazar District (source: IOM). The speed and scale of the influx have resulted in a humanitarian emergency, which has rendered the population even more vulnerable. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has rapidly launched an emergency response to address the most urgent needs.

Terrible living conditions

Cox’s Bazar district was already one of the poorest regions of Bangladesh. The living conditions there were hard, mainly due to a lack of cultivable lands, inadequate roads and insufficient infrastructure. Moreover, the area suffers from limited access to drinking water, particularly in remote rural areas. Combined with low access to improved sanitation facilities, this has a global impact on personal hygiene and contributes to high levels of malnutrition.

With the important arrival of thousands of refugees, the situation has worsened. The increasing number of people in the area is putting more and more pressure on the few resources available.

The possible deadly impact of the upcoming monsoon

As of April 19th, 898.300 Rohingya were living in Cox’s Bazar district. Among them, 117.000 people have been hosted by the population living in the region (source: IOM).

Having brought few possessions from Myanmar, the newly arrived refugee population is entirely reliant on humanitarian aid and the host communities. However, their living conditions are tough, with very little space to live in. This already precarious situation will undoubtedly worsen with the upcoming monsoon season.

Considering weather-related hazards, the crowded living conditions and insufficiency of water, sanitation and health infrastructure, our teams fear a disease outbreak, especially in camps.

  • 156.6 million inhabitants
  • 31,5% poverty rate
  • 142nd out of 188 on the Human Development Index
  • 491,818 people helped

Strong mobilisation needed

The humanitarian community has strongly mobilised to respond in this context so far, says Alexandre Giraud, CEO of SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL. Today, our teams are getting ready to respond to the new threat of the upcoming monsoon.”

Our team work hard to be prepared in case of a disaster. They also decided to build elevated latrines in flooding areas, to avoid contamination, and they are prepared to ensure proper desludging and maintenance during the rainy season.

Finally, for all our teams’ work to be successful, they address the needs of both populations: host communities and refugees. To promote social cohesion, our teams involve refugees and local populations in their activities when possible.

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