Turkey steps in to help Rohingya against monsoon

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Turkish aid organizations are working to tackle the monsoon season risks faced by the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Turkish Red Crescent officials said Friday.

Ahmet Erbil, the operations manager of the Turkish Red Crescent, and Ali Akgul, the head of the charity’s Bangladesh Delegation, told Anadolu Agency about the risks inherent in monsoon downpours as well as the precautions to be taken against them.

Erbil said that the Red Crescent, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), and the Turkish Diyanet Foundation (TDV) started to build bamboo houses in Cox's Bazar’s Kutupalong camp in order to help its residents tackle the very real dangers.

“TDV, AFAD and the Turkish Red Crescent have started to build bamboo houses. The houses come in different sizes and versions. A cultural center, a school, a water well, and a laundry will be included,” he said.

He noted that each house cost between $700- $800.

According to Erbil, the Turkish Red Crescent had so far provided around 8 million Turkish liras (nearly $ 2 million) worth of aid to the refugees.

Risks faced by camp residents

Ali Akgul, on his part, said that monsoon winds could pick up speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour, which posed a horrific risk that may destroy the houses of nearly 300,000 people.

Akgul also stressed that in a place where over a million refugees resided, they were obliged to utilize a very limited space for housing, facilities, and water wells. “This poses a terrible health risk for them.”

He furthermore underlined the tremendous task as well as the considerable problem of waste removal.

“One million people means around 250,000 families. They require around 150,000 houses, 50,000 toilets and showers, 500 schools, 50 hospitals and 200 health centers.”

Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised the issue at the UN.

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