Monsoon Response in Rohingya Refugee Camps Season Update | 21 April to 24 October 2019
I - SITUATION OVERVIEW
• The monsoon season in Bangladesh officially started on 17 June. However, weather-related incidents were recorded in the Rohingya refugee camps between April1 and October, during which time some 83,517 people were affected. This includes 17,240 people who were temporarily displaced and 43 refugees who were injured. During this period, some 11 fatalities were reported in the camps.
• The precipitation twice exceeded the rain gauge alert threshold of 350 mm within a 72-hour period, once in early July 2019 and another in early September 2019.
• From September 2019, telecommunications limitations and restrictions on activities carried out by refugee volunteers have had negative effects on community-based emergency preparedness and response activities, trainings and on the effective implementation of referral systems across sectors.
II – LESSONS LEARNED
• Ensuring adequate and well-maintained drainage is important to minimize monsoon impacts.
The 2019 monsoon season has demonstrated that incorporating drainage into slope stabilization measures and desilting drains and canals is vital to prevent both landslides and waterlogging, especially during prolonged bouts of rain.
• Monsoon and cyclone contingency planning should be revised to incorporate the risk scenario of the flooding of the Naf River. During the heavy rains in early September, the Naf river overflowed its embankments, due to a combination of heavy rain over the entire area and a regular high tide, leading to significant flooding in parts of Camps 24-27 and Nayapara Registered Camp. River water flooding was previously expected only to happen if the embankment had been damaged.
• Planning for area-based monsoon response needs to be strengthened and localized, ensuring that response plans are adapted to the specific contexts of Ukhiya and Teknaf and clearly assign responsibility among first responders for government liaison and coordination.