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Rohingyar Hobor: Faani Uda (Rising Waters) Edition 2: April to July 2021

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Rohingyar Hobor (Rohingya news) is a trend report produced by IOM Needs and Population Monitoring and Communication with Communities. Its objective is to better understand the Rohingya’s welfare in the camps and their perception and recounting of recent events that affect their lives. These reports draws upon qualitative and quantitative data collected from twenty different sub-blocks across Kutupalong-Balukhali Expansion as part of a longitudinal research exploring welfare through Rohingya’s access to assistance, economic conditions, and relationships within the response.

Rohingya continue to discuss the impacts and significance of the fires that occurred in the first half of 2020. While the number of fires decreased as time has gone on, there remains concerns about whether there will be a reoccurrence following the monsoon season. Heavy rains during the monsoon season and the reduction in maintenance and preparedness works caused widespread flooding in the camps. According to NPM daily incident monitoring, 160,422 Rohingya were affected by monsoon rains that caused waterlogging, flash flooding and landslides/slope failures over the last four months.

Prior to large scale flooding between 27 July - 2 of August, camp residents extensively discussed the deterioration of shelters, damaged pedestrian infrastructure, increased landslide risks and blocked/ broken drainages as their most serious concern. Interviews reveal increased frustration and contempt towards humanitarians for what camp resident believe were preventable disasters caused by a lack of action and pre-monsoon preparatory activities.

Many residents believe humanitarians' failure to complete these works led to increased flooding and landslides, but historical rainfall data does show this as a period of significant rainfall since the 2017 influx.

The COVID-19 mitigation measures implemented by the government and national lockdown also put serious pressure on camp residents and affected their ability to seek services, medical treatment, and work opportunities. Many were inhibited from moving within camp boundaries or leaving the camps to seek services. The general perception that camp conditions have deteriorated continues to spark conversations over repatriation, whether through formal or informal means.