Ordinary Rohingyas have staged processions at various Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar on Tuesday to express happiness over their satisfaction on settlement in Bhasan Char Island in Noakhali and the recent announcement of the UN to extend hands in humanitarian aid.
Many ordinary Rohingyas have welcomed the government's initiative saying that such a move is indeed a great benefit. On the occasion, some of the Rohingyas have distributed sweets on the day to commemorate the occasion.
They brought out processions at different places in Kutupalong camp in Ukhia on Tuesday afternoon. During this time, the coordinator of the camp distributed sweets to the common Rohingyas.
Faridul Alam, head boatman of Kutupalong Camp East 2, said that the Bangladesh government has been building a modern shelter at Bhasan Char in Noakhali district since 2020. So far around 17,000 Rohingyas have been settled. But so far, the UN refugee agency – UNHCR, has not taken part in humanitarian aid in Bhasan Char.
Now the UN has agreed to provide all kinds of assistance, including humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya in Bhasan Char, it is also very happy occasion. They have signed an agreement with the government to take part in humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya in Bhasan Char.
So Rohingyas can now live-in peace and safety in Bhasan Char. Ordinary Rohingyas are therefore happy with the UN's involvement in humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya in Bhasan Char.
Rahima Khatun, a Rohingya woman from the same camp, said that there is no problem now. “We no longer want to live in this densely populated camp. We are interested in going to Bhasan char.”
Zafar Alam, head of Kutupalong Rohingya Camp West 2, said that since the signing of the MoU with the Bangladesh government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the ordinary Rohingyas expressed great interest to move to Bhasan char. “We don’t want to send anyone there by force. I am making arrangements to send those who wish to settle voluntarily.”
Rafiqul Islam, a resident of Umbia's Lambasia camp, said, “If security is tightened there, we will definitely go. Many fled because there was no UN before. Without proper security, many had refused to settle down in Bhasan Char.”
Maryam Khatun, Anwara and Masuma Khatun – all residents of the camp, said that the Bangladesh government along with the United Nations has provided various facilities there. We are grateful to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina for taking initiative to settle us there in such an organized manner.”
Shamsuddoza Nayan, additional commissioner at the Cox's Bazar Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission office, said that about 17,000 Rohingya have already been relocated from Cox's Bazar to Bhasan Char. The corona situation was temporarily closed for so long due to lockdown and monsoon season. The process of relocating Rohingyas to Bhasan Char will begin by next month.
Mohammad Rashedul Islam, camp in charge of the Ukhia Kutupalong refugee camp, said, “A list of Rohingyas willing to settle in Bhasan Char voluntarily was being prepared through the Cox's Bazar Refugee Relief and Repatriation Office. One lakh Rohingyas will be involved in humanitarian assistance in Bhasanchar after an agreement is reached with the government's Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).”
He said the situation in the camp is much calmer now and many have expressed tremendous enthusiasm in settling in the new location.
The government decided to relocate one lakh Rohingyas to Bhasan char to ease the pressure on Ukhia and Teknaf in Cox's Bazar. In this context, 17,000 Rohingyas have been taken to Bhasanchar in six phases so far. Eight thousand 690 of them are children. The number of women is five thousand 319 and the number of men is four thousand 409.