On 22nd March 2021, Rohingya refugees witnessed their homes burn to the ground as a fire blazed through the refugee camps of Balukhali in Rohingya destroying more than 10,000 shelters with the numbers still increasing.
This tragedy has caused the death of 15 lives and lead serious injury to 560 refugees including a report of 400 missing people.
Officials reported that the blaze had started at the beginning of the week at one camp before sweeping into another three camps, immersing Balukhali in clouds of smoke and leaving behind remains of ash and debris. A witness said that the cause was from a gas cylinder explosion although this report has not yet been confirmed. However, this is not the first of fires as the refugees have suffered from two previous calamities, the first on 12th May 2020 followed by another one on 14th January 2021.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in collaboration with other agencies are working the ground to desperately help more than 50,000 Rohingyas who have lost everything by providing them with temporary accommodation, medical supplies, as well as psychological support. Many charities from across the world have responded almost immediately to try and save these refugees from further destitution. Social media has exploded with calls to help, encouraging influencers and followers to make whatever donation they can.
This Muslim minority have already endured persecution in Myanmar who have denied them with citizenship, rendering them as stateless. Thus causing many of its people fleeing for their lives from their homeland to squalid surroundings forcing them to live in cramped and dilapidated shelters. This speaks for many hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people that have been able to escape to neighbouring countries over the past decade.
The plight of the Rohingya is far from over. The plagues of horror that these people have suffered calls for a bleak future but not without your help. It is a cause that has been widely recognised by all – especially the Muslim community, who yearn to help their brothers and sisters.
This devastation has left people with nothing. They need your support urgently with provisions of food parcels and utensils, emergency packs, and shelter. Zakaat is also being accepted.
With Ramadhan around the corner, it is a reflection for all to be grateful and appreciate our own situations. Let us come together as an Ummah to help our brothers and sisters in need.
Global Relief Trust are on the ground right now. They need our urgent support.
Sources: UNHCR, AL JAZEERA