UN Agency Works to Weatherproof Rohingya Shelters Before Monsoon Season

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on January 18 that it was working to reposition and weatherproof Rohingya refugee shelters in Bangladesh before the coming monsoon season.

Shelters had been hastily put up, without much planning, during the first weeks after Rohingya refugees fled Myanmar into Bangladesh in August 2017, the UNCHR said.

The UNHCR said it was focusing on improving the shelters of the refugees in the area and relocating families to more stable ground ahead of the rainy season, which will make some areas susceptible to landslides and flash-floods.

The UNHCR’s senior shelter specialist, Richard Evans, said his organization had distributed shelter kits to refugee families, adding that “a shelter kit consists of three main things: the bamboo, two different types of bamboo, structural bamboo, and also a thinner bamboo for the roofing. Rope, two types of rope, one strong rope, one smaller rope to bind it all together. And of course, plastic sheeting.”

Evans said “we are working with the communities and with their structures to make sure people have a disaster response plan. So, when it does rain and when they see the conditions are worsening, they have a plan they know what to do. They know to come to a safe haven.”

So far, UNHCR has distributed 30,000 shelter kits and has a target of 80,000 by March. There are about 150,000 total shelters in the Kutupalong camp, which holds the majority of the 655,000 refugees. Credit: UNHCR via Storyful