Rohingya refugees living in shelters at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh said on Thursday (March 22) that they were facing aid shortage and harassment from Myanmar’s border guards, even as an anticipated monsoon season looms in the horizon, compounding difficulties for the refugees.
Work was underway in Kutupalong camps to build additional infrastructure and drains to cope with potential heavy rains and the cyclone season. Aid agencies were ramping up efforts to distribute aid packages, but residents such as Ali Miah said they sometimes “don’t get any water” despite twice daily supplies.
Elsewhere at the Tunbru border, which separates Bangladesh with neighbouring Myanmar, camp refugees said border guards have been constantly disturbing them. “They throw stones towards our camps at night,” said Noor Alam.
United Nations’ officials said nearly 700,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017, after militant attacks sparked a crackdown, led by security forces, in Rakhine state that the UN and United States said constitutes ethnic cleansing.
The UK’s International Development Committee said the situation for Rohingya would likely worsen, with heavy rains of 2.5 metres predicted to fall from June through August.