Over 30,000 Rakhine IDPs face difficulties in finding shelter

12 April 2019
Over 30,000 Rakhine IDPs face difficulties in finding shelter
Rakhine ethnic women and children, who fled from conflict areas, are seen at War Myat Hall village's temporary camp in Ponnagyun Township, northern Rakhine State, western Myanmar. Photo: Hein Htet/EPA

Ethnic Rakhine Tribes Association spokesman Yway Baw Sein told Mizzima that the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) had reached about 30,000 and they were facing difficulties in finding shelters.

As fighting between the Myanmar military and Arakan Army (AA) has escalated over the last 10 days at least 10,000 more IDPs fled from their homes and were now taking refuge in nearby crowded schools and monasteries and some of were living in makeshift tents built with tarpaulin roofs.

“We can manage food for them with donations received from some people, but they are in trouble for shelter and healthcare,” Yway Baw Sein said.

The government including local MPs give food supplies to the IDPs but they have trouble finding shelter as the weather is getting harsher.

“The weather is too hot now and we have strong winds here. And we are facing dust storms too. Recently we had gust wind in the midnight,” Yway Baw Sein said.

According to statistics compiled by Ethnic Rakhine Tribes Association, the number of Rakhine IDPs in Rakhine State reached 30,000 by April 10 and this number includes IDPs in camps and some taking refuge in nearby villages.

Rakhine Government Municipal Minister Win Myint said that the government was planning to provide shelters which would be suitable and comfortable for the coming monsoon season.

“We understand their situation. They will face difficulties when the weather worsens. So, we are planning to give shelter after the water festival (Thingyan). We hope we can start this work in May,” Win Myint said.