'Refugee camps in northern Rakhine lack food, drinking water’
Narinjara News, 17 February 2022
Some camps for internally displaced people in northern Rakhine are facing a crisis of food and drinking water, reported VOA (Burmese version).
Quoting the camp officials, the agency reported that the refugees still find it difficult to return to villages, but there were hardly any donors to run the camps.
In Nyaungchaung refugee camp of Kyauktaw township, which is giving shelter to nearly 3,000 people, there is acute lack of drinking water and the inmates are suffering from various diseases including diarrhoea, informed the camp in-charge Ko Khaing Myo Aung.
“There is no drinking water in the nearby lake. There are also running water supply arrangements. As a result, we have to use only the stream water. But the water is dirty. Some toilets are located near the creek and it gets contaminated. Many children are now suffering from water-born diseases,” he added.
Various NGOs (including INGOs) have been requested for help, but none come forward so far. They stated that they were trying their best.
Even the military council, which was also approached,
ignored the appeal, claimed the
Aung Naing Win from the Upper Myat lay refugee camp revealed that the rivers are slowly drying up and now only the salty water is available there.
“Food and water become scarce here. I have to take my bath in the salty water. Drinking of the available water becomes unhealthy. We are waiting for donors to survive,” he said.
Ray Phyu Gan refugee camp of Ponnagyun Township is also facing the same problems. An official of the camp claimed that the government-supply of rice to them was not enough.
Presently they have some volumes of drinking water for three months, but after that they may face the same crisis.
The refugees are being offered two cans of rice for the daily lunch & dinner, which is not sufficient. However, a group called Sara has been transporting drinking water for them. After three months, they may not get the water too.
Till date, more than 90,000 IDPs of Rakhine State are taking shelter in refugee camps as they are yet to return to their villages due to security reasons.
The infighting between the Arakan Army members and Myanmar military personnel came to an end by November 2020, but the residents of Maungdaw locality remain worried as it may return soon.