Rohingya people outnumber locals in Ukhia, Teknaf

Rohingya People in Teknaf, Cox's Bazar

Rohingya People in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar

The Rohingya people, who have crossed the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh since August 25, outnumbered the local people in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas of Cox’s Bazar district, UNB reports.

According to the population census-2011, the total population of Teknaf upazila is 2,64,389 while that of Ukhia upazila is 2,07, 379, and the estimated Rohingya population stands at over 10 lakh, which is soaring every day.

Noor Alam, a local resident of Balukhali in Ukhia, expressed his deep concern over the increasing number of the Rohingya people.

Talking to UNB, a local businessman, Noor, said, “We’re afraid of the worst situation. We cannot comfortably lead our daily life for the huge movement of the Rohingya population. We never experienced such an influx in the area in the past.”

“We cannot enter our local markets due to overcrowding by Rohingyas. Besides, I’ve lost some of my ancestral land property due to the makeshift camp made for the Rohingyas,” he said.

Sirajul Mostofa, president of Cox’s Bazar district unit Awami League, said, “Rohingya population now stands at 11 lakh while the total population of Teknaf and Ukhia is only six lakh. It’s almost double of the local people.”

Pointing finger at the aid agencies, Mostafa said, “The makeshift camps of the Rohingyas have severely affected our normal life and privacy. Our many infrastructures are being used for providing various services to them.”

He urged the aid agencies to concentrate also on the local people.

Noting that the Rohingya influx has become a serious problem for Cox’s Bazar and the whole Bangladesh, he demanded the government take necessary steps to restrict their movement and relocate them to Bhashanchar as soon as possible.

Saikat Biswas, a representative of International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said, “The international donor community has committed more than US$344 million to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Rohingyas.”

He said the money will also be spent on building roads, schools, madrasas and other infrastructures around the Rohingya camps.

Six UN agencies — UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), IOM, United Nations Children Fund (Unicef), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) — are directly involved in the relief operations here.

Of the organisations, UNHCR has been working here since 1992 while IOM and Unicef since 2013 and 2015 respectively.

More than 10 lakh Rohingya people, mostly women, children and elderly people, have fled persecution in their Rakhine State, Myanmar since August 25 last and crossed over to Cox’s Bazar seeking shelter.