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Arakan IDPs in need of help to rebuild shelters after strong winds

Narinjara News, March 24, 2023

Internally displaced people in Arakan (Rakhine) State are in need of help to rebuild their shelters after they were damaged or destroyed by strong winds in recent days, IDP camp officials said.

According to reports, more than 100 IDP shelters in Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun and Rathedaung Townships were destroyed during a squall on 20 March.

“The strong winds destroyed 15 shelters in our camp. We rebuilt them together, but they are not strong enough for the rainy season. Most of the shelters in our camp are roofed over with tarpaulins. Only a few have dhani thatched roofs. Tarp roofs are usually blown away by strong winds. So it is not safe enough,” said an official of Ganan Taung IDP camp.

The IDP camp, built after fighting flared up in 2022, currently houses 77 households with a total of 350 people.

They were displaced from Buddaw, Kunohnsu, Chaung Tu, and Ywet Nyo Taung villages in Ponnagyun and Kyauktaw townships and are not yet able to return to their villages as military council camps are still there.

An official from Pyar Chaung Gyi IDP Camp in Rathedaung Township said the IDPs urgently need help to rebuild their shelters after they were destroyed by the strong winds.

“These shelters were built in 2020. They are not safe for the rainy season. So we need help,” he said.

Pyar Chaung Gyi IDP Camp houses 56 households with about 190 people displaced from Nga Tauk Tu Chay and Thaung Dra villages. They are not yet able to return to their homes as junta camps are still standing in the villages.

The displaced people said that it is impossible for them to rebuild the small shelters as they have no jobs to earn money.

In Arakan State, more than 200,000 people were displaced during the conflict between 2018 and 2022, with more than 60,000 still unable return to their homes, according to statistics from UN.

Currently, the military council has begun returning IDPs to their homes and is also putting pressure on the remaining population to return home, according to IDPs.

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