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379 more Rohingyas sail for Bhasan Char

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 26 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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379 more Rohingyas sail for Bhasan Char
After a pause of around six months, a naval ship with 379 Rohingyas seated on rows of benches on the deck departs Chittagong Boat Club for Bhasan Char in Noakhali on Thursday. —SUN photo

Chattogram: A total of 379 more Rohingyas were relocated to Bhasan Char Island in Hatiya upazila of Noakhali district on Thursday.

They were taken to the offshore island as part of the government’s move to relocate the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals there.

The relocation activities resumed after six months with involvement of the United Nations (UN) in the process.

However, the 379 Rohingyas are the part of 1,500 Rohingyas slated to be relocated to the island in the seventh phase.

The Rohingyas left the Patenga Naval jetty in a ship of Bangladesh Navy around 12:00pm and landed at the island around  3:00pm, said the Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Shamsud Douza.

Before going to the Bhasan Char, they were brought to a temporary transit camp at Ukhiya Degree College playground in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday and later taken to Chattogram. They stayed at BAF Shaheen College in the port city after completion of registration process. With this, a total of 18,879 Rohingyas were shifted to the island in seven phases, said the sources.

Earlier in December last year, the first batch of the Rohingyas reached the island.

Bangladesh is currently hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them took shelter in Cox’s Bazar in the face of ethnic cleansing and genocide by Myanmar security forces from August 25 in 2017.

In Bhasan Char, Rohingya families are living in separate rooms with cooking facilities, electricity and sewerage system along with storm shelters. The authorities concerned have also facilitated their income generating activities for earning livelihood. In addition to modern accommodation for them, educational institutions, hospitals, clinics and playgrounds have already been set up at the Bhasan Char.

Bangladesh Navy implemented the Tk 31-billion housing project, funded with public money, after the government planned to relocate a portion of them to the island.

There are 1,440 cluster houses and 120 four-storey shelter houses to accommodate more than one lakh people.

Although, the UN initially opposed the relocation of Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar, they recently agreed to start work for the persecuted people in Bhasan Char.

UNHCR also signed a formal agreement with the Bangladesh government on October 9 in this regard. Disaster Management and Relief Ministry Secretary Md Mohsin earlier said that humanitarian assistance will be provided in Bhasan Char like Cox's Bazar through the UN agencies. Humanitarian activities will be carried out there under the supervision of the civil administration.

The Bangladesh government and UNHCR will jointly make arrangement for food and nutrition, drinking water, sanitation, medical care, non-formal education and livelihoods of the Rohingyas in Bhasan Char.

The Bangladesh government will ensure safety of the Rohingyas and the persons working under UN, partner organisations, and local and foreign NGOs there.