Rohingyas on Bhasan Char Island Worry Over the Incoming Monsoon

The Rohingyas on Bhasan Char Island worry about facing the rainy season. Floods and storms may hit them since their location is close to the sea.

The Rohingyas.
Illustration. The Rohingyas. (ACTNews/Amanda Jurifan)

ACTNews, BHASAN CHAR – In June, most parts of Bangladesh start to enter the monsoon season including on the small island called Bhasan Char, where thousands of Rohingyas are staying. The Island which is 63 kilometers from the mainland is prone to typhoons. The rainy season makes the refugees worried.

According to the report by Human Rights Watch, the Rohingyas in Bhasan Char Island will be exposed to terrible conditions during the upcoming monsoon season. Floods and storms may hit them since their location is close to the sea.

Apart from climate issues, the Rohingyas also complain about inadequate health and educational facilities on the island. Last May, thousands of Rohingyas gathered to protest during the visit of a delegation of UN officials to Bhasan Char. Many refugees said they do not want to remain on the island.

Around 18,800 Rohingyas have been transferred from Cox's Bazar. Approximately 850,000 people now live in squalid and cramped conditions after fleeing from the attempted massacre by the military in Myanmar. It is said that 80,000 Rohingyas would be moved to the island soon.

The Human Rights Watch who interviewed 167 Rohingyas in Bhasan Char reported that all of them were transferred without full, informed consent and have been prevented from returning to the mainland.

“The Bangladesh government is finding it hard to cope with over a million Rohingya refugees, but forcing people to a remote island just creates new problems,” said Bill Frelick, refugee and migrant rights director of the Human Rights Watch.

“International donors should assist the Rohingya, but also insist that Bangladesh return refugees who want to return to the mainland or if experts say island conditions are too dangerous or unsustainable,” he added.[]