Life Inside Bangladesh’s Rohingya Refugee Camps

Jesmin Papri
2017.01.30
Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
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A Rohingya mother and child stand near their makeshift shelter in at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya sub-district, Cox’s Bazar, Jan. 18, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

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The Naaf River separates Bangladesh from Myanmar, Jan. 18, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

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A cluster of Rohingya huts has sprouted in recent months in what used to be forest land in Kutupalong, Jan. 18, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

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Rohingya families live in shelters made of plastic, mud and bamboo in Kutupalong, Jan. 18, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

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In the refugee camps, as many as 5,000 people can share a single water source, Jan. 18, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

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Some Rohingya women beg for money in Ukhiya, Jan. 14, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

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A refugee boy hauls a pile of firewood for sale in Kutupalong, Jan. 14, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

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Rohingya children return home after attending classes at a madrassa in the Leda refugee camp in Teknaf, another sub-district of Cox’s Bazar, Jan. 16, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

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A Rohingya girl stares out from her family’s tent at the Kutupalong camp, Jan. 14, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have sought refuge in southeastern Bangladesh in recent months after fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, but many are living amid hard conditions on the Bangladeshi side of the border.

About 65,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since the crackdown in Myanmar began in early October, according to U.N. estimates. They joined about 300,000 who were already living Cox’s Bazar, the Bangladeshi district that lies across the Naaf River from Rakhine.

Life in the refugee camps here means sharing a water source with thousands of others or building a family shelter out of available materials, including plastic and mud. Some resort to begging near the camps to survive.

To learn about living conditions of some of the new arrivals, a BenarNews correspondent recently visited two Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.

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