Monsoon Season: Oxfam boosts emergency aid in Bangladesh
May 7, 2018
Vulnerable Rohingya refugees living in makeshift camps in Bangladesh now face further disaster, as monsoon rains and possible cyclones will cause floods and landslides and increase the risk of deadly disease.
Oxfam is ramping up its work to improve hygiene, sanitation and water delivery, and prepare families in the face of the expected storms. You can help.
Close to a million Rohingya people have fled unimaginable atrocities in Myanmar to seek refuge in Bangladesh. They are now squashed into an area far too small to safely accommodate them, living in makeshift tents in hugely overcrowded settlements, on unsuitable steep land.
Conditions are dire, with overflowing latrines and contaminated water, and bad weather will make matters worse. Rains and storms may cause major damage to the camps, further displacements, deaths and reduced access to large parts of the camps. A large-scale disease outbreak is almost inevitable.
More than 100,000 people are threatened:
- Monsoon season begins in June. Around 2.5 meters of rain will fall in three months, turning camps built on dusty soil into unhealthy swamps, and making it very difficult to get aid to people.
- Rohingya refugees are living in flimsy shelters that could be washed away by floods or landslides, that are unable to withstand major storms.
- Heavy rains could make footpaths that refugees rely on to collect water and food, and go to the toilet, totally unusable.
We have distributed nearly 10,000 hygiene kits so far and are currently providing an average of 300,000 liters of chlorinated water daily in the refugee camps. Credit: Maruf Hasan/Oxfam
Preparing for disaster: Oxfam’s response
Since September, Oxfam in Bangladesh has provided emergency relief to 240,000 people. We are providing water and hygiene supplies to contain the spread of disease, and helping families understand how to stay safe and healthy. Our priority now is to help refugees brace for monsoon season.
We are working to prevent waste escaping from latrines and have emergency supplies like water pumps and toilets in our warehouses ready, if storms damage water points and other infrastructure.
We are currently providing 180,000 liters of safe drinking water per day to 25,500 people in Unchiprang camp. And from our water treatment plant in Nayapara, our provision reach 110,00 liters per day.
We have desludged and repaired hundreds of latrines, installed 80 women bathing cubicles in Balukhali and Unchiprang and piloted 8 twin pit latrines at Kutupalong, specially designed for flood-prone areas.
We have distributed nearly 10,000 hygiene kits so far and have recruited more than 300 Rohingya volunteers to conduct hygiene sessions on safe water, latrine cleanliness, food hygiene, handwashing, and diphtheria awareness.
How you can help
Hundreds of Rohingya refugees are still arriving every week in Bangladesh, joining close to a million already living in severely crowded and unhealthy conditions. More aid and more resources are needed to prepare for deadly monsoon rains and improve conditions in the camps for as long as the Rohingya need support.
Your donation will help us provide those arriving in Bangladesh with clean water, sanitation facilities, emergency food and adequate shelter from the elements. Donate now.