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Emergency aid – risk of flooding in Rohingya camp

29. June 2018 - Bangladesch
The people living in the biggest camp in Bangladesh are facing severe difficulties. 970,000 people from Myanmar are defenseless at the mercy of the beginning monsoon in their emergency shelters. The feared water masses are threatening the lives of the inhabitants. Also their supply with drinking water is endangered. That is why arche noVa is starting an emergency aid intervention in Kutupalong Camp near the city of Cox’s Bazar.

Four deep wells with hand pump and washing place will be constructed at strategically important locations in the camp. They will supply 3,000 people. Each site will be controlled by new-founded water committees. They consist of inhabitants of the camp who reviece training and material to keep the wells running and to repair them if needed. Our local partner organisation OBAT Helpers additionally carries out hygiene sessions to elucidate on hygiene practices and to minimize the danger of infectious diseases, which has risen due to the heavy rainfall. All measures are performed in direct communication with the camp management, the responsible authorities and the other aid organisations working on-site.

Portrait Andrea Bindel

"The people in Kutupalong are in fear of mudflows and landslides. The hills, on which the camp was constructed in no time, have already been rooted out. In their need the refugees used the wood to build their huts and even dug out the roots to obtain combustible material for cooking.”

 

Project Coordinator International Programs Andrea Bindel

The whole area, which had been a forest a short while ago, only consists only of sandy soil, on which countless huts are standing. All facilities are not equipped for long-time usage and the camp’s water supply was constructed too shallow. The shallow wells are likely to collapse. If the water rises everything will be flooded, which is even worse as many of the emergency latrines were built too close to the wells and hold the risk of overflowing. This riks of contamination is huge. Waste, sewage and feces could mix with the coming rainfall and be spread all over the area or even get into the wells. This is why deep wells are severely needed right now.

We would like to construct more than four deep wells as the need is enormous. But our budget is not sufficient. That is why we are urgently calling for donations for our emergency aid in Bangladesh.

In the end of August 2017 the massive expulsion of Rohingyas from Myanmar began. Entire villages were burned to the ground, people were prosecuted and threatened. Around 670,000 of the ethnic minority fled into neighbouring Bangladesh, where 300,000 people from Myanmar had already sought shelter. Most of them live on the hills of Camp Kutupalong, the most densely populated refugee camp in the world. They are in need for humanitarian help. Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest countries, now it also has to master one of the world’s biggest refugee crises. The responsible authorities are trying to handle the situation, but their means are limited and the infrastructure on-site is completely overstrained.

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Founding, training and equipping a water committee for the activity of a deep well

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