Yesterday, the Bangladesh Official said, Rohingyas residing at Bangladesh Cox’s Bazar refugee camps have agreed to move to “Bhashan Char”, a remote island located in the Bay of Bengal.
Since last year, the government was trying to convince Rohingyas to move into Bhashan Char where they initially planned to relocate 100,000 refugees to the island. Authority thinks it would take the pressure off the overcrowded border camps where almost a million Rohingya live.
The relocation tentatively could happen in the next few days. Bangladesh Refugee Commissioner Mahbub Alam said, “Approximately 6,000-7,000 refugees have already expressed their willingness to be relocated to Bhashan Char.”
The island has a 3m high embankment along its perimeter to keep out tidal surges during cyclones and floods. It has also a warehouse to store months-worth of rations.
Nur Hossain (50) a Rohingya father of four children agreed to relocate to Bhashan Char after they were shown video footage of the shelters. “I have agreed to go. The camp here (Leda) is very overcrowded. There are food and housing problems,” he added according to the Strait times reporting.
Although the following island has emerged from the sea about two decades ago, many concerned NGO’s have warned that it might not be able to withstand extreme storms during the annual monsoon season.