Author and artist: Sami Ahmed
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Shortwave, 31-meter band 9310 kHz
25-meter band 11570 kHz, 12030 kHz
Report: Mohammed Rukon Uddin (stringer)
Topic: Abdul Majid, a displaced Rohingya, describes rebuilding his life in Kutupalong.
Translation summary: Back in Myanmar, Abdul Majid fished and farmed to support his family. Then he, his wife and four children fled violence and came to Kutupalong’s Camp 3. Majid cleared space amid the trees for a small shelter of bamboo and other materials.
“The whole forest was cleared to build shelters,” Majid said. But in high summer, “it was difficult to live in our small shelter due to extreme heat. Our children couldn’t stay inside,” said Majid, who’s now 40. The Camp-in-Charge, Shamimul Huq Pavel, “provided us with tree seedlings to plant and now my shelter is covered with trees” that shade the family home.
Refugees are not allowed to work legally in Bangladesh, their host country. Majid goes fishing “once or twice a month” near the Shamlapur camp where one of his sisters lives. “I can earn some money selling fish,” he said, noting that he brings home some fish for the family.
With that money, he pays tuition for two of his sons to attend a private school run by Rohingyas. His other two sons have found some informal work.
“Here in the camp, we have nothing to do but wake up early in the morning and try to listen to our Rohingya news whether there are any updates about repatriation,” Majid said. He hopes for a “positive result” from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where the Gambia has filed a genocide case against Myanmar. First, the ICJ is considering the Gambia’s request for provisional measures to protect Rohingyas in Myanmar. “We are praying to God to solve our issue. We want to go back as soon as our situation become better.”
Music (bridge) …
2-way: Mohammed Idris Abdullah (stringer)
Topic: Rohingya day laborers struggle to find earnings in the refugee camps.
Hojorot Mohammed Ali came from Yongba Shan village in Tombazar, Myanmar, where he was a woodcutter. He joined the exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar in late August 2017. Now age 25, he lives with three relatives in Kutupalong Camp 1.
For a while, he volunteered with the local NGO Abul Khair Group, earning 6,000 takas or roughly $70 a month, he said. But funding ran out, and he hasn’t heard from the group in several months. He had used his earnings to buy fish, meat and vegetables to supplement food rations of rice, beans and cooking oil. Now he can’t buy those items, or warm clothes, to help his family.
Abdul Nabi, 30, came from Orin-Morong village in Buthidaung township, where he drove a rickshaw. He fled Rakhine state’s ethnic violence of August 2017, coming to southeastern Bangladesh. Now he lives with six relatives in Balukhali Camp 1.
At first he sometimes found day labor cleaning drains for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for at least 200 takas, or $2.36, a day, Nabi said. But those opportunities dried up six months ago. With no income to supplement refugee aid, Nabi said he and his family are struggling. They can’t buy warm clothes or blankets to protect them from winter’s cold. Snow melts through the roof, dampening their sleeping area and increasing the cold. They’re hungry, too, because they can’t afford extra food.
Mohammad Amin, 36, came from Yong-pang Kyindaung in Buthidaung, where he worked in the rice business until August 2017. Now he and three relatives live in Lambashia, Kutupalong camp.
Amin said that in the past fou