Committee to determine impact of Rohingya camps on environment

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Rohingya refugees gather at a market inside a refugee camp in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh, on 7 March 2019. Reuters File Photo

No more forestland would be given to the Rohingyas staying at camps in Cox’s Bazar, said Saber Hossain Chowdhury, chief of the parliamentary standing committee on environment, forest and climate change, reports UNB.

“Bangladesh has suffered massive loss because of the Rohingyas. Environment and biodiversity were affected the most and it’s not possible to overcome the loss,” he told newsmen after the eighth meeting of the standing committee.

Saber said another new problem was water crisis. “Water is being lifted using about 10,000 tube wells. The water table is depleting, leading to water scarcity in many places of the district. This could lead to a serious situation.”

He noted that Ukhiya and Teknaf were turning to deserts. Anyone found involved in hill cutting will be punished, he warned.

The standing committee has decided to form a committee to determine the impact of the Rohingya camps on the environment. The report will be submitted in November.

Addressing the meeting, environment, forest and climate change minister Md Shahab Uddin said the government is prioritising protection of environment.

“Strict action will be taken against anyone found involved in destroying environment,” he said.

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