Thousands of Rohingyas endure harsh winter after Cox’s Bazar camp fire


Some 5,000 Rohingya refugees are leading an inhumane life this winter after a fire earlier this month at Camp 5 in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya upazila destroyed their shelters.

Around 1,000 shelters were gutted in that fire. Now the affected Rohingyas are spending their days under the open sky, with women and children most affected by cold-related diseases.

They said they are in dire need of winter clothes and shelter.

They are taking refuge under makeshift tents, but the cold is affecting them severely as there are no fences or walls

Soa Banu, an elderly Rohingya, said: “I have no relatives… The shack was my only possession. I cannot sleep at night now.”

Another Rohingya refugee, Nur Nahar, said: “Dew is falling like rainwater on the tent. It is so cold here.”

Hamid Hossain, a local community leader, said: “Due to the severity of winter, the homeless Rohingyas are living an inhumane life. About 1,100 shacks were burnt in my camp. No one who lost their home has yet found shelter. Women and children are the most affected by cold-related diseases.”

“RRRC (Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner) has assigned three NGOs to build homes for us, but none of them has started to work except one,” he added.

When asked about the issue, Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Samsu-Ddouja Nayan said: “Repairing the houses of the homeless Rohingyas has started. Apart from this, they are being fed regularly and are being looked after all the time.”

Teknaf Upazila Family Planning Officer Pranay Rudra said: “In winter, women and children are affected by various cold-related diseases. They are suffering from various diseases, including diarrhoea, pneumonia, bronchitis, fever, cough and eye allergy. All patients who come for treatment are being treated.”

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