Bangladesh: Fire Destroys Rohingya Camp, Leaving 12K Homeless
On Sunday, a large fire ripped through a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, destroying at least 2K shelters and leaving as many as 12K refugees without housing. As of Sunday, the cause of the fire was unknown and no casualties were reported....
- On Sunday, a large fire ripped through a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, destroying at least 2K shelters and leaving as many as 12K refugees without housing. As of Sunday, the cause of the fire was unknown and no casualties were reported.1
- The UN refugee agency stated that 90 community facilities, including hospitals and learning centers, were also destroyed, while local Superintendent of Police Mohammad Mahfuzul Islam said that those affected would be sheltered temporarily in community centers and mosques.2
- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees provided no further details other than that Rohingya refugee volunteers were responding to the fire in the Balukhali camp at Ukhiya, with the agency staff and its partners backing their efforts.3
- The area where the fire occurred is hilly and has made it difficult for families to escape to safety and for rescue operations to locate the missing. The accommodations typically house four to five in a family unit and are mostly populated with women and children.4
- UN agencies and Bangladesh officials are currently assessing the extent of the damage to the camp to determine how many homes will need to be rebuilt, with estimates that recovery could come to a fast process depending on the availability of funding.5
- The Bangladesh defense ministry last month issued a report stating that 222 fire incidents took place in the Rohingya camps from January 2021 to December 2022, including 60 cases of arson.6
Sources: 1BBC News, 2CNN, 3NPR Online News, 4Al Jazeera, 5Washington Post and 6Guardian.
- Narrative A, as provided by Washington Post. The suffering of the Rohingya people is indescribable. The accommodations and conditions of the camp have been appalling and now the fire has destroyed countless homes and businesses, leaving people to face homelessness and uncertainty. Life can only improve in the camp if recovery includes homes made of more substantial and sturdy materials like steel and brick.
- Narrative B, as provided by The diplomat. Following the five-year mark of refugees inhabiting Bangladesh, the government is coercing the refugees to return home. The National League for Democracy-led government and the Myanmar State Administrative Council have failed to secure a safe and humane environment in the Rakhine state. The Rohingya people want nothing more than to leave the barbed wire subpar encampments and return home but there are no safe options to do so.
- Narrative C, as provided by Dhakatribune. This tragedy was about to happen — and that was exactly why Bangladesh was urgently asking for help from all relevant stakeholders to achieve a lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis. Bangladesh is a small, highly populated country that faces already several other challenges, so the continued presence of more than 1M displaced people is neither reasonable nor sustainable.