Bangladesh + 1 more

Extreme Weather and Disaster Preparedness in the Rohingya Refugee Response; September 2019 Teknaf Rains: Lessons Learnt


Lessons learned: Responding to Refugee and Host Community needs during the September 2019 heavy rains in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar


The normal monsoon season in Bangladesh, which peaks between June and August, will see 20-25 days of rain per month, with an average precipitation of between 400-600 mm a month nationally. However, rain fall patterns can be inconsistent and single day totals of over 200 mm are not unheard of. This climatic context has considerable impact on the Rohingya refugee response operation in Cox’s Bazar; in 2018, a total of 12,292 households were affected by landslides and erosion, flash flood, storms and lightning.

Despite massive efforts to reduce risks during the 2018/2019 dry winter season, the equivalent number in 2019, is 18,378 households as of early October. 2019 has also seen 10 fatalities within the camp related to natural hazards and fire, while four people from the host district population have died due to landslides.

To manage the risks related to the monsoon season regular rains and high-intensity events therein, the humanitarian actors in Cox’s Bazar have formulated a Monsoon Response Plan, last updated 10 June 2019.

The present brief covers events, lessons learnt and recommendations based on humanitarian response to the 9 – 14 September 2019 monsoon heavy rainfall incident in Teknaf upazila, Cox’s Bazar.

The analysis presented is based on

a) the event records of UNHCR, IOM and UNDP DRR/emergency preparedness focal points and area focal points for Teknaf;

b) three group discussions regarding the sequence of events, lessons learnt and recommendations (October 6 2019 Emergency Preparedness Working Group meeting; October 24 2019 meeting of DRR project manager UNDP and area managers from UNHCR and IOM; October 29 2019 meeting including ISCG secretariat, IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, SMSD sector, Shelter sector, Food Security sector, ETS sector, Logistics sector, and IOM Needs and Population Monitoring unit).
The present brief has been reviewed by UNHCR and IOM designated focal points in Cox’s Bazar for accuracy of facts and for their comments on recommendations made.