Maungdaw, Arakan State: Blankets and warm clothes are needed for the poor displaced people living in Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships. Severe cold accompanied by dense fog for the last few days has disrupted normal life in the areas, said a businessman from Maungdaw who denied his name.
“Around 7,000 cold hit people are passing their days and nights in misery without warm clothes and blankets. The people are living nearby Mountain areas beside rivers are the most vulnerable. Poor people do not have ability to purchase warm clothes to protect them from the biting cold.”
Many people, especially children and aged ones, have been attacked with different cold-related diseases like— diarrhea and pneumonia— in the towns. The people of low income group, specially the farm laborers, are the worst sufferers, he more added.
A village leader from Rathedaung Township said that the poor people of his area are the worst suffers due to burring down their villages and houses by racist Rakhines with the help of security forces, now; minimum 5,000 people are suffering from shortage of warm clothes and blankets because of destroying houses. They are leading a hand to mouth existence without shelter. They are getting some supports from some NGOs but it is not sufficient.
Besides, in Maungdaw township, especially in Maungdaw Town and Maungdaw southern side, at least 250 houses and two markets were burned down or destroyed by some Rakhine mobs with the help of security forces such as—police, Hluntin (riot police), Nasaka (Burma’s border security police), Sarapa (Military Intelligence), and army. They (IDPs) have been taking shelters nearby villages and the relatives’ houses, a trader from Maungdaw said preferring not to be named.
But the Rohingya IDPs of Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships are not recognized by the Thein Sein’s government and did not get any support from any quarter, even from the present government. They have also been kept in the villages of nearby other Rohingya villagers without getting any access to do work to support their family members, said a local villager.
Whenever, the foreign or local delegations came to visit Maungdaw Township to oversee the situation of local people including Rakhine and Rohingya, the authority indirectly forced them to visit the Rakhine (Natala)IDPs camps excluding Rohingya IDPs who have been locking in the villages. But, few foreign members accidently met some Rohingya villagers who have been suffering from acute difficulties since long, said a schoolteacher from the locality.
As a result, the Rohingya IDPs of Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships ask to international community to provide them shelter, blankets and warm clothes to protect from winter season, the teacher more added.