Rohingya Refugee Relief Initiative
As Monsoon season is approaching, over half a million Rohingya refugees have fled from religious persecution and potential genocide in Myanmar. Due to ethnic and cultural differences, the Rohingya have been forced from their homes in order to avoid what can only be described as ethnic cleansing. Over 1 million Rohingya have been misplaced throughout Indonesia, and many are currently seeking sanctuary across the Naf River into Bangladesh and other parts of Indonesia.
Throughout the past several months, the plight of the Rohingya has been referred to as the fastest refugee movement since the Rwandan genocide. Well over 622,000 Rohingya have endured the dangerous passage to the relative safety of Cox’s Bazar, an Eastern district of Bangladesh. Having fled without any belongings, carrying children and the elderly on their backs, they have traveled for weeks to escape brutal persecution. Once at the Bangladesh border they still have to manage the Naf River, a muddy waterway separating Myanmar from the southernmost tip of Bangladesh. A final obstacle that has claimed many Rohingya lives as overloaded fishing boats capsize and those aboard lost.
Waves For Water is now responding to what the U.N. has labeled a “critical humanitarian emergency.” The refugees are packed into makeshift shelters; simply built from bamboo sticks and tarpaulin sheets. W4W friend and Photojournalist Tyson Sadler recently reported back to us that there is little clean water, no electricity, and only a few service roads. For these small camps, housing more than 400,000 people along the shores of the Naf River, WASH Water (Sanitation and Hygiene) is a critical issue. There are limited wells located sporadically throughout the camps, but none are producing clean water. Currently, the refugees are burning whatever they find, such as plastic and other flammable items, to boil the limited water they have access to, creating severe health issues such as respiratory illnesses and asphyxiation.
Waves For Water is currently collaborating with multiple organizations to alleviate as much of the suffering as possible. As the current situation develops we will work to deliver the most impactful solution possible by bringing access to clean water to those struggling to cope. Thank you for your continued support.