Bhasan Char: Abode par excellence

8 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

As the government planned to relocate the Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar camps to Bhasan Char, a group of people started opposing this decision. They mentioned about many imaginary problems Rohingyas may allegedly face in Bhasan Char but those have now been proven false. A recent study, conducted jointly by the Peace and Conflict Studies department of the University of Dhaka and the Central Foundation for International and Strategic Studies, has found Bhasan Char to be much safer for the forcibly displaced Myanmar citizens compared to the camps in Cox’s Bazar, as the island has been developed with all necessary facilities needed for the temporary relocation of the Rohingyas. The study also found that the island is well secure from tidal floods and natural disasters.

It is worth mentioning how unhealthy and unhygienic environment had there been in Cox’s Bazar, the most vulnerable area of the country, with a poverty rate far exceeding the national average. These camps, filled beyond their capacity, lacked basic facilities like pure drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities while the ineffective planning led to environmental degradation in the area. But then, Bhasan Char is very planned and built with adequate space, which provides a better living condition for the people who faced persecution in their motherland. The fact has been established by news items about Rohingya people who expressed happiness about the arrangements in the island, thanked Bangladesh and encouraged their relatives and friends to come to Bhasan Char voluntarily.

It is easily intelligible that a country that has given shelter to this large number of people on humanitarian ground cannot let them rot in an inhospitable environment lacking minimum basic amenities. It is the responsibility of Bangladesh to determine how and where these people would be sheltered, ensuring their safety and security. And the government, to date, has been successful in doing so. Now, the people, who earlier opposed the relocation initiatives, should change their mindset, praise Bangladesh and put pressure on Myanmar for a quick, safe and dignified repatriation of these hapless people.