Since late July, heavy rains in Kutupalong Refugee Camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, have caused widespread flooding and landslides, damaging shelters and facilities, and displacing and affecting thousands of people. Rohingya volunteers supported by Community Partners International and Green Hill have been at the forefront of efforts to help those affected.
As the floods wreaked havoc in their neighborhoods, the volunteers mobilized to rescue and evacuate people in the worst-affected areas. They also provided first aid and emergency medical support, helped families to repair damaged shelters, and alerted neighborhoods to the threat of landslides in high-risk areas.
The floodwaters caused latrine waste tanks to overflow and contaminated tube wells. To reduce the risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases, the volunteers distributed water purification tablets to thousands of households in their catchment areas and advised families on how to stay safe.
As floodwaters began to subside, the volunteers began the task of assessing the damage to WASH facilities, including wells, latrines, and bathing stations, and launched a program of repairs. Their initial assessments identified more than 150 facilities in need of repair. In the first few days, they carried out temporary repairs to 20 latrines, 25 tube wells and 7 bathing stations. Repairs are continuing.
These response efforts underline the importance of having trained volunteers embedded in their communities that can provide immediate assistance to fellow refugees during emergencies.