The project’s aim is to investigate and document the environmental crisis following the Rohyngya migration in South Bangladesh, in order to deepen the relation between humans and the environment and reflect on the challenges posed by sudden mass migrations.
The Wretched and the Earth
Rohingya workers cross a flooded canal following heavy rains in one of the new parts of the camp. Widespread deforestation had a devastating impact, increasing soil erosion and the risk of landslides and floods. The IOM, UNHCR and WFP hired hundreds Rohingya every day to level hills and relocate people at risk.
Abdul Salam, 60, inside a hole he dug for a latrine. The inability to manage the massive quantity of waste generated by the camps is a major source of disease. The WHO reported in December 2017 that 88 percent of the water samples it had collected from households were contaminated by E.coli.
Children playing at the top of a leveled hill at the Musoni camp. The pressure on the local ecosystem is unsustainable in the Ukhia and Teknaf subdistricts considering that before the exodus 336,000 people lived in an area that now hosts more then 1 millions refugees.
Kutupalong refugee camp at sunrise. The camp was set up informally in 1991 and now, with the new extensions, is the biggest refugee camp in the world with more than 600,000 people living in the area.
Marjon, 35, with her two-year-old son, Muhammed. Both of them suffer from acute respiratory infections. Women cook inside the shelters using firewood collected in the forest.
Rohingya wait for water and food at the Moynarghona camp distribution center. The lack of land is a major problem that has led to overpopulation of the settlements.
Funeral at the Balukhali camp. Shak Karim, 65, died of an acute respiratory infection, which is the biggest cause of death among the refugees. The women who prepare the food, babies and the elderly are the most exposed to the risk.
Bamboo shelters at the Kutupalong refugee camp. All the shelters in the camps were built out of bamboo that comes from Rangamati, an area in Chittagong district where is cultivated. This area is suffering a major impact due to the overexploitation of this important resource.
Khotiza Begum, 67, inside her new shelter. She arrived in Bangladesh on September 1, 2017, but after only one week an escaped elephant destroyed the family's shelter. The woman was seriously injured while her two grandchildren were killed.
Some Rohingya sheltering from the wind and sand in a makeshift tent at the Balhukali camp. Due to the logging necessary to set up the camps and build the shelters the soil has become exposed to atmospheric agents and subject to strong erosion, which increases the risk of landslides.
A tree stands alone in the middle of the camp. The deforestation and exploitation of the environment is immense across the area. According to the ISCG energy and environmental technical group, the entire forest around Cox’s Bazar is likely to disappear this year.
A Rohingya woman collects leaves in Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary. Leaves and roots are used both as fuel and ingredients for food. In the absence of agricultural land and regular employment, the Rohingya are dependent on forest produce for most of their daily household needs.
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