The government of Bangladesh has transformed Bhasan Char- an island that was previously uninhabitable- into a small city of its own. Proper infrastructure in this land has been constructed for the Rohingya refugees who were living in makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar district. Cox’s Bazar has been their home since they fled Myanmar in 2017 but the camps became cramped up and overpopulated which made the government take this decision. 

Bhasan Char

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, Bhasan Char now has year-round water and electricity supply along with proper infrastructure, cyclone shelters, agriculture land, 2 hospitals, police station, 4 community clinics, mosques, recreation and learning centers, parks for children, telecommunication services, etc. all for the refugees relocating there. Despite many concerns, the island has proven to be strong enough to withstand natural disasters like cyclones and tidal waves. Super Cyclone AMPHAN proved that the foundation of 1440 houses and 120 shelter stations in Bhasan Char was concrete and strong as they remained unharmed by the cyclone. This shows the feasibility of the island and its ability to tackle strong natural disasters. 

It is said that many Rohingya representatives were allowed to visit the island prior to their decision on relocation. This visit was organized to make them aware of all the facilities the government has set up for them and to make sure they know that the relocation was entirely voluntary. Many NGOs and journalists have already visited the island and expressed their approval of all the modern amenities available there. 

An adequate supply of food and medical services are readily available for the relocated refugees in Bhasan Char.  The government of Bangladesh along with around 22 NGO’s is there to extend their full medical support to the refugees. The hospitals have already set up COVID Testing facilities along with proper professional treatment of the patients. 

The government says that the Rohingya refugees must return to Myanmar at some point but for now, the skill development through vocational training and livelihood opportunities the refugees are to get in Bhasan Char will prepare them to easily reintegrate into the Myanmar society when they finally return to their homeland. 

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