Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Sanitation in the Rohingya Refugee Camps

The refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh are having to cope with hundreds of thousands Rohingya, fleeing religious persecution in Myanmar. The incredible overcrowding in the camps has led to conditions of poor sanitation and limited health care. Reuters has undertaken analysis of satellite photos of the camps to assess the use of latrines and water pumps in the camps and how their distribution and use might effect the well-being of those living there.

In The Rohingya Crisis: Life in the Camps Reuters has used recent satellite imagery to explore the number and placement of latrines, makeshift latrines, open defecation areas and water pumps. The news agency has identified those latrines which are too near or too far from refugee households. It has also identified makeshift latrines and open defecation areas, which have been built by the refugees themselves. Many of these are located in unsafe areas or are too shallow and therefore pose a risk of contaminating water pumps.

As more and more desperate refugees arrive from Myanmar the Kutupalong refugee camp grows in size everyday. The AFP news agency reports that it is set to house 800,000 people, which would make it the largest refugee camp in the world.

The AFP has interviewed a number of refugees who now live in the Kutupalong refugee camp. You can read their stories on the KFP's Kutupalong: Rohingyas Hit Dead End interactive map. The map uses a recent satellite image of the camp as the base-map for these refugee stories. The use of a satellite image is very effective in conveying the sheer size of the Kutpalong camp. The numbered markers on the map provide access to the refugees interviewed by the KFP. You can read these stories simply by selecting the markers on the map.

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