As the sun sets on the sprawling refugee camp, one year Md Saiful grimaces in pain. He has fallen sick from drinking dirty water. To make his ordeal worse, there is nobody to give him any treatment. As darkness falls, further cries of agony reverberate from his home. Only this time they don’t belong to Saiful but his mother. After suffering for days, Saiful does not cry anymore, he is dead.
Welcome to Leda refugee camp, an unofficial camp under Teknaf Upazila, Cox’s Bazar where approximately fifteen thousand (2092 households) Rohingya refugees live.
In this camp, Muslim Aid was giving humanitarian support to these refugees but recently the local government administration ordered them to close their programmes. As a result, the refugees are living in a miserable situation. They have been suffering from water crisis, absence of medical support and lack of food and security.
Water crisis: Water is life. As a result lack of water has resulted in the death of some refugees including children from water borne diseases. Children are suffering from severe diarrhea because clean drinking water is not available. The refugees are compelled to use dirty water.
“There is no water supply within the camp. We need to go 2 kilometers for fetching water as the local community doesn’t allows us to take water from their ponds and tube-wells. They beat us and break our water pots,” says Juhara from Block A.
“We are being harassed physically by local people when we go to fetch water from remote areas,” added a teenager on condition of anonymity. In these circumstances refugees are using unhygienic water from open ponds, streams and wells. So many refugees are suffering from diarrhea.
Medical crisis: Since Muslim Aid discontinued medical support, the patients’ death rate and sufferings have increased. Many of them died due to diarrhea and other waterborne diseases.
Without treatment, pneumonia is also causing many deaths. “My child Saidul Islam (4 months) died due to pneumonia,” says a refugee leader.
There is also no protection and freedom of movement for refugees. So, they can’t leave in order to earn money and most of the refugees are starving.
“We are being harassed and robbed mostly by locals,” says a refugee community leader. “As human beings we want to live in peace and security” he added. In the camp refugees are living insecure lives. They are screaming to the world community to abate their difficulties. Refugees have no access to basic education even though they are eager for it.
Currently there is no NGO is working to provide them humanitarian aid. Therefore, they are seeking attention of international community to rescue them from this continuing crisis.
One man pointed out that according to the declaration of human rights, Articles (13) 1.Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the border of each state. 2. Everyone has the right to leave any other country including his own and return to his country. Article (14) 1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy asylum in other countries.
Unfortunately, refugees in Leda camp are out of the bounds of human rights. They face various problems daily like robbery, kidnapping and extortion by the local people. Refugees do not see an end to this crisis.