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Tuesday, September 19, 2017 09:27:39 PM
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Condition dreadful

Camps, open spaces, hills overcrowded: Diarrhoea may break out: Kids, elderly people, women are vulnerable: UN appeals for aid to deal with humanitarian tasks

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Staff Reporter :
As hundreds fresh Rohingyas streaming in every day, Kutupalong, Lada and Nayapara camps and all open spaces of Teknaf upazila in Cox's Bazar district are now becoming overcrowded.
Apart from camps and open spaces, the Rohingya refugees are also crowding at under construction buildings, market places and corridors of different government and private offices and mosques. The Teknaf is seeing the worst Rohingya refugee crisis.
Local people say unsanitary conditions and overcrowding prevail at camps and other open spaces.  Moreover, over flown toilets, lack of clothes, muddy and filthy earth also making the whole area unlivable, they said.   
Diarrhea may break out among the refugees huddled camps as thousands of others found their way to makeshift camps in Kutupalong, Nayapara and Leda along the border areas.
They wait on the Myanmar border to take fishing boats to Teknaf in Bangladesh. The vast majority are women, including mothers with newborn babies, families with children. They arrive in poor condition, exhausted, hungry and desperate for shelter.
An expecting mother has to endure various difficulties during her pregnancy even if one remains at her undisturbed home. This suffering becomes far more painful where there is persecution.
Hasina Begum, 24, who fled her village seeking safety in Bangladesh, had never thought she would have to deliver a premature baby being caught in a sudden attack launched   by Myanmar security forces on their village in North Maungdaw og Rakhine State.
A number of newborn babies were born either on the way to Bangladesh or in their villages before leaving for Bangladesh. Many babies are born after their mothers arrived in Bangladesh.
Huge smokes were seen in at least four places in Myanmar side close to the border from 9:00am on Sunday.
 "Our village Shilkhali and adjacent villages are burning. Its North of Maungdaw township," Mohammed Tayeb, 20, said at Nayapara village of Teknaf.
Makeshift camps and open spaces have grown so rapidly as they are running out of space, the local said, adding severe shortages in facilities and staffing are creating dreadful conditions for the hundreds of refugees every day
Different agencies and local administration are failing to cope with the dramatic increase in the number of Rohingya people arriving on the island.
Sakhawat Hossain along with his seven family members entered Bangladesh through Badr Mokam point of Shahpori Island is now staying at an open space of Teknaf upazila.      
 "We can't describe our condition in words. We adult people can tolerate anything but our kids. There is nothing for our kids, not even milk. Our women and young girls are facing the worst situation, as there is no toilet here," he said.
Thousands of displaced people in Rakhine have been stranded or left without food for weeks. Many are still trying to cross mountains, dense bush and rice fields to reach Bangladesh.
In Ukhiya upazila, the newly arrived Rohingyas were seen desperate to find shelter at the hill.  
Occupying over 400 acres of hilly land they cut hills or cleared forestland to put up tents or makeshift shelters.
The United Nations has appealed for aid to deal with a humanitarian crisis unfolding in southern Bangladesh after the number of Muslim Rohingya fleeing Myanmar neared 300,000, just two weeks after violence erupted there.
The wave of hungry and traumatized refugees is "showing no signs of stopping", overwhelming agencies in the Cox's Bazar region already helping hundreds of thousands displaced by previous spasms of conflict in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the U.N. said.
 "It is vital that aid agencies working in Cox's Bazar have the resources they need to provide emergency assistance to incredibly vulnerable people who have been forced to flee their homes and have arrived in Bangladesh with nothing," the U.N. Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Robert Watkins said.
Rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say the army and Rakhine Buddhist vigilantes have mounted a campaign of arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population.
About a dozen Muslim villages were burned down on Friday and Saturday in the ethnically mixed Rathedaung region of Rakhine, two sources monitoring the situation said.  "Slowly, one after another, villages are being burnt down - I believe that Rohingyas are already wiped out completely from Rathedaung," said one of the sources, Chris Lewa of the Rohingya monitoring group the Arakan Project. Three Rohingya were killed by landmines on Saturday as they tried to cross from Myanmar, a Bangladeshi border guard said, and an official with a non-government organization said two more were injured on Sunday.
In Cox's Bazar, about 40 Rohingya, mainly women and children, arrived early on Sunday after a four-day trek and then a border crossing by fishing boat.
 "The sea was very rough but we made it here somehow," said 25-year-old Rashidullah, one of the group that was looking for temporary shelter on the beach in an area where there is no room left in refugee camps.
The International Crisis Group said in a report that the strife in Rakhine is causing more than a humanitarian crisis.
 "It is also driving up the risks that the country's five-year-old transition from military rule will stumble, that Rohingya communities will be radicalised, and that regional stability will be weakened," it said.

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