• Activities suspended at all 34 Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar because of coronavirus threat
• India announces a complete lockdown nationwide
• UK imposes 3-week national lockdown
• Italy’s single-day death toll, which had begun to decline, reverses course and hits 743
• Myanmar declares Arakan Army a 'terrorist organization'
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Report: Mohammed Hussain
Topic: Peruvian gold-pickers’ way of life becomes even more difficult.
Summary: Eva Chura lives in an old gold mining town high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. She’s among thousands of women who search for small amounts of gold in the black stones dropped by men working inside the mines. These women, or “pallaqueras,” use mercury to get at the gold – and use mountain water to wash away the mercury. But mercury is a toxin that pollutes the drinking water downstream. Pollution is just one challenge in the high, cold climate. The gold is running out – and so is the pallaqueras’ way of life. Mohammed Hussain translated and narrates this Associated Press report.
Coronavirus PSA: Mohammad Rukon Uddin
Report: Mohammad Rukon Uddin (Cox’s Bazar)
Topic: Tightening restrictions are complicating camp life for Rohingyas.
Translation summary: Mir Ahmad came to Cox’s Bazar after fleeing Myanmar. Now 65, he lives in Kutupalong Registered Camp. At a tea shop there, he recently talked about uncomfortable developments. The Bangladesh government and its aid partners have been providing basic shelter and rations, Ahmad acknowledged, but the 2017 influx of hundreds of thousands of terrified Rohingyas from Myanmar changed things for the worse. Before then, “we were able to move freely … and send our children to the host community school,” he said. Now, he added, “we face difficulties to have our children marry or to purchase clothes or other [items] because we don’t get any money besides rations.” Several men near Ahmad nodded in silent agreement.
Web extra: Bangladesh has not recognized the more recent arrivals as refugees, instead registering them as “forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.” They can’t hold formal jobs, though some in the camps have earned small stipends for volunteer efforts with NGOs. Nor do these Rohingyas have rights or access to Bangladesh schools. But the government announced in January that it would partner with the United Nations to expand formal education from grades 6 through 9, using Myanmar’s curriculum. UNICEF has said the pilot program for 10,000 youths would begin sometime in the first half of 2020 – a goal likely to be affected by the coronavirus.