Rohingyas require more supports: IOM
Despite the ongoing efforts of aid agencies, and the local and national Bangladeshi authorities, there is so much more work to be done to give the Rohingyas the most basic support they need to ensure their safety, dignity and well-being, says a consultant of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
"...the reality is that life in the camps is hard and dangerous," said communication consultant with the UN Migration Agency Fiona MacGregor.
Fiona, who has reported on Rohingya issues since 2013, said those who arrived may have escaped the widely-reported brutality they suffered in Myanmar, but that does not mean that they are free from danger.
In her article shared by IOM, titled 'Desperate, Destitute, Damaged: The Plight of Myanmar's Persecuted Rohingya Muslim Refugees", Fiona said aid agencies are working alongside the Bangladesh government and military to improve roads and drainage and identify new areas for shelter construction ahead of the rains.
Supplies including more tarpaulins and sandbags will be distributed, which will enable 120,000 households to reinforce and upgrade their shelters ahead of the rainy season in May.
She said when the monsoon rains arrive, there is a strong likelihood of landslides, causing shelters, latrines and people to come crashing down on top of one another.
It may be several months away, but site planners and shelter experts, who are working against the clock to improve conditions, predict it may be nearly impossible to prevent disasters.
When a major upsurge in violence broke out in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state on August 25 last year, it started an exodus that sent almost half a million of the mainly stateless Rohingya Muslim minority fleeing over the border into Bangladesh in just two months.
The number of new arrivals is now more than 655,500.