Fire at Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, January 9, 2022-
Thousands of Rohingya were left homeless after a fire in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, on the border with Burma, police said on Sunday.
Nearly a million Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Burma, live in miserable conditions, in shelters made of bamboo and tarpaulins, in camps in the Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazar, after fleeing military persecution in their country in 2017 predominantly Buddhist where they are considered illegals.
“About 1,200 houses were destroyed by the fire,” leaving more than 5,000 people homeless, Kamran Hossain, a spokesperson for the police force who oversees security in the camp, told AFP.
The fire, which started at 4:40 p.m. (10:40 a.m. GMT), was brought under control around 6:30 p.m., he said.
Abdur Rashid, 22, said he had to flee his burning house: “Everything was on fire. My baby and my wife were outside. There were a lot of things in the house. I saved 30,000 taka (about 350 dollars) earned by working, the rest of the money was destroyed by fire.
“I am now homeless. I lost my dream,” he said sorry.
In March 2021, at least 15 Rohingya died and around 50,000 were displaced after a fire ravaged a huge refugee camp in south-eastern Bangladesh. Two large fires had already broken out in camps in January 2021, leaving thousands of Rohingyas homeless and four schools erected by Unicef destroyed.
Mohammad Yasin, 29, lamented the lack of fire-fighting equipment in the camps. “Fires are frequent. We had no way to fight it. There was no water. My house is on fire. Many of my documents, brought back from Burma, are destroyed. And it is cold here,” he explained.