Fire leaves 1,200 Rohingya homeless in Bangladesh camps

Rohingya refugees look through the debris of their houses charred by a fire at the Ukhia camp in Cox's Bazar on June 1, 2024. (Photo/AFP)

A major fire burned down hundreds of shelters, shops, and other facilities in refugee camps in the southeastern coast of Bangladesh, leaving 1,200 Rohingya shelterless.

The fire on Saturday started in the Rohingya Camp No. 13 of Ukhiya of Cox's Bazar.

Firefighters brought the fire under control and doused it completely, Deputy Assistant Director of Cox's Bazar Fire Service Atish Chakma confirmed to Anadolu.

It was primarily suspected to be an act of arson from a shop at the camp, Bangladesh Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammed Mizanur Rahman told Anadolu.

“There are a number of factions among the Rohingya in the camps over establishing power and they were found involved in such crimes before. Furthermore, overcrowded conditions and built components of the shelter could help the fire spread fast,” he added.

However, "we are still investigating the fire incident to figure out the actual fact", he added.

A total of 175 shelters, 40 shops, one learning center, and one Islamic school were burned in the fire, while 50 shelters, 30 latrines, and 15 bathing cubicles dismantled or damaged, according to the refugee office in southeastern Cox’s Bazar.

The fire also left 1,200 people homeless, and injured three others.

On May 24, another fire had gutted about 300 houses in the same camp.

“We have assessed the aftermath of the incident and are working to provide shelter and support to the people affected,” the commissioner added.

Bangladesh said about 1.3 million Rohingya are living in the South Asian country.

The majority of Rohingya fled a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine, Myanmar in 2017. Most of them are housed in overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar, but since late 2020, about 35,000 have been relocated to the island of Bhasan Char.


Source: TRT