Camp 1


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Asia » Bangladesh » Cox's Bazar
November 13th 2018
Published: November 16th 2018
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Camp 1Camp 1Camp 1

One needs a drone to get a true perspective.
November 13, 2018 (Cox's Bazar) Camp 1 of the Rohingya Refugee camp is at the northern end of the camp and the most established one. There are 20 camps and some of them have been split into East and West sides (Camps 1, 2, and 8). The Camp designation has organizational and political structure implications with representative committees, NGO assignments using these designations. The overall management is now coordinated by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), but is heavily reliant still on the infrastructure and operational commitment that BRAC established in the initial phases. The job is tireless for the Head of BRAC's Humanitarian Relief Programme (Mr. Salam). On Tuesday morning, escorted by BRAC staff we were invited visit the camp and see the infrastructure, its operational landscape and get an framework for some of the planned eye care services coordinated by ORBIS that integrates multiple NGOs' efforts. The camps took over unclaimed land which at the time had a lot of vegetation, and was largely tree covered. As it became settled, the camp is very crowded, most space is taken, and though some larger thoroughfares exist, there are many narrow back lanes that weave through the camp. Water towers are located throughout the camp with watering stations where refugees gather potable water. There is no electricity, with some spot generators at larger facilities like the Primary Health Center which operates 24/7. There are "child friendly" and "women friendly" zones which are designated areas to offer safety and security, especially at night. Access to the camp is controlled and monitored by the military and police. All outsiders must leave the camp (and should for their safety) as darkness sets quickly at sunset. There are certain functions (i.e. the health center staff) that are permitted to stay with specialized permits. Some of the structures may appear robust, but by requirement all are intended to be only "temporary" as designated by the government. Building materials are typically bamboo poles, woven bamboo walls, tarpaulins, mud and thatching. The camp is crowded and there is a lot of foot traffic, some bicycles, tricycles and rickshaws and NGO vehicles trundling through pot-hole pocked streets which are dry now, mud in rainy season. There is a buzz of a local economy which is still a bit of a mystery to me - as to how it works given the entry/exit restrictions and the lack of an economic infrastructure. But there seems to be plenty of commerce from appearance


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Narrow PathsNarrow Paths
Narrow Paths

The paths between "blocks" of homes. Most dwellings are back-to-back with these connecting paths periodically spaced.
Humanitarian Play LabHumanitarian Play Lab
Humanitarian Play Lab

Child-safe play areas.


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