Rohingya Refugees Live in Difficulties in Asylum Country

The Bangladeshi government has closed access the to three blocks at Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar after 29 people were confirmed positive for COVID-19.

Muhammad Said (32) a Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh who lives in Kutupalong Camp in Cox’s Bazar. (ACTNews / Rahman Ghifari)

ACTNews, COX’S BAZAR - At least 15,000 Rohingya refugees are now under coronavirus quarantine. Bangladeshi officials stated that the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 29, as reported by AFP, Tuesday (5/26).

The situation in the camp is worsened by terrible sanitary condition. The temporary shelters cannot are not equipped with facilities to protect them from the disease.

"In the dry season, mosques or buildings here (in Cox’s Bazar Rohingya refugee camp) becomes very hot. The roofs are leaking in the rainy season,” explained Andi Noor Faradiba from Global Humanity Response – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) team.

Faradiba added, the Bangladeshi government does not allow Rohingya refugees to build permanent buildings. Therefore, refugee shelters need regular and continuous improvements.

"The facilities in the camp are not adequate. They need improvements and renovation. Although they are safe in their asylum country, their life is still quite uncomfortable, so let's help the refugees to give them a better life," Faradiba explained.

The complaint about lack of adequate sanitary facility was voiced by Mahmoud Said (32). His family arrived in Bangladesh in 2017. In March, ACT met him and his family in his shelter. Said hoped for sanitary facilities close to his shelter.

"There are no toilets near the shelters. We have to go to the mosque built by ACT when we need to go to the restroom," Said explained to ACTNews through a translator.

In addition, the refugees are also dealing with food scarcity. Said added that they have been relying solely on aid from Bangladeshi government and aid agencies. Even in their asylum countries, they still have to deal with difficulties and restrictions.

Mahbubur Rahman, a member of the Cox's Bazar Health Authority said he was very worried about the lives of Rohingya refugees. "We are very worried because the number of refugees in the camp is booming. We estimate that local transmission (corona virus) has already begun among refugees,” Rahman told AFP. []