Rohingya Rangers Build Wells for Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
12 October 2020
Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh
A little over three years ago, the Burma Army launched a genocide campaign against the Rohingya, forcing over 750,000 people to flee into neighboring Bangladesh. A giant refugee camp complex quickly sprang up, hastily constructed and without regards to long-term sustainability. Despite repatriation talks between Bangladesh and Burma, no progress has been made to ensure the Rohingya are able to safely return to Burma, where their homes have been destroyed or occupied, the government offers no prospects of citizenship, and where the Burma Army continues to attack civilians. For now, nearly one million Rohingya remain stuck in the camps, struggling to rebuild their lives. Amidst these challenges, the FBR Rohingya team has looked for ways to help their own people and provide encouragement. Below is their recent report.
We are happy to share with you an update from the Rohingya team here in Bangladesh. With the help of FBR/FTO, we were able to complete water well/pump projects in some of the camps. At first, we didn’t expect that we could help the Rohingya people with water; it was really out of our expectations.
During the summer, water reservoirs in the camps become dusty and dry up and the people have to dig small wells to get water for themselves. But, the water isn’t drinkable or good for daily use. During rainy season, the wells become muddy and break apart. We planned new, stronger wells with cement and pipes with filters to prevent these problems and give the people clean water.
Because of the limited supply, some Rohingya went to local houses in Bangladesh to buy water, traveling to the villages at night. This wasn’t always safe, especially for the women who were harassed along the way and sometimes raped. So, these new wells that are located in the camps also help keep people safe.
In Nayapara (Camp 26), which had more of a water crisis than other camps, we installed seven wells/pumps. People were very happy to be provided with water and they thanked the people who helped them – the FBR team here and also some of the camp leaders.
They also asked us about the work we do to help people and so we shared our FBR motto, our mission to Burma to help the people there and to get the news out for the world. The people were very satisfied listening to our explanation about how we help our people. Mostly, they expressed gratitude that we could help them with water since the water situation grew critical last summer season.
We have finished installing 15 water pumps and wells throughout three camps: Jamtoli (Camp 15), Shamlapur (Camp 23), and Nayapara (Camp 26). We put the water pumps in areas where there was water but it was hard to reach without assistance.
The new pumps provide water as follows:
• Jamtoli: 78 families (546 people)
• Shamlapur: 191 families (1337 people)
• Nayapara: 268 families (1876 people)
The families all expressed their gratitude and we, the Rohingya Rangers, were very happy to be able to help our own people in this way. Thank you to FBR/FTO, the FBR donors, and the world who keeps the Rohingya in their sight and helps.
Thank you and God bless you all,
The Rohingya Team Coordinator