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Disaster risk reduction in conflict contexts: Lessons learned from the lived experiences of Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

Zaman, S; Sammonds, P; Ahmed, B; Rahman, T; (2020) Disaster risk reduction in conflict contexts: Lessons learned from the lived experiences of Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction , 50 , Article 101694. 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101694. Green open access

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Abstract

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than one million stateless Rohingya refugees, who fled from the Rakhine State to avoid serious crimes against humanity persecuted by the Myanmar Army. The newly arrived Rohingyas were accommodated in overcrowded refugee camps in Cox's Bazar District (CBD). The camps are highly vulnerable to landslides, tropical cyclones, flash-flooding, and communicable disease outbreak. Although a number of improvement measures are ongoing, however, no study to date has addressed Rohingyas' self-adopted strategies to mitigate disaster risks. Consequently, this paper aims to explore how refugees cope with risks associated with environmental hazards in the Kutupalong Rohingya Camp in CBD. A mixed-methods research strategy incorporating both quantitative household questionnaire survey and qualitative focus group discussions (FGDs) techniques were applied. In total 250 Rohingya refugees were selected for the questionnaire survey using a stratified random sampling method from camps 17 and 19, and two FGDs (male and female-only) were carried out in camp 13 involving 21 Rohingya participants. Results derived from the study show that responding to early warning systems, storing dried food and medicine, utilising available resources, relocating to safer shelters, and keeping hopes high were some of the coping strategies practised by the respondents. Literacy level imposed a significant impact over respondents' perception to accept various measures. For instance, the probability of storing dried food in preparation for disasters was 4 times higher among literate Rohingya compared to their illiterate counterparts. Similarly, for literate respondents, the probability was 20 times higher to store medicine than for illiterate. Guaranteed distribution of shelter strengthening kits among all refugee households, inclusion of disaster risk awareness and preparedness trainings, ensuring safe and dignified return in Myanmar, and global and regional cooperation to address the refugee crisis are some of the propositions recommended in this study for improving Rohingyas' future adaptation strategies in a humanitarian context.

Type: Article
Title: Disaster risk reduction in conflict contexts: Lessons learned from the lived experiences of Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101694
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101694
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Rohingya, Disaster risk reduction, Cyclone, Landslide, Flooding, Coronavirus, Education
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099595
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