Around 700.000 Rohingya refugees have crossed the border between Mynamar and Bangladesh and live in refugee camps in the landslide exposed area near Cox's Bazaar, Teknaf Chittagong in the eastern part of Bangladesh.
"The situation for the Rohingya refugees is a very serious disaster, and with the monsoon season these areas are very prone to floods and flood-induced landslides. This is not on the headline news in international media", explains NGI's Rajinder Kumar Bhasin.
Installation of avalanche warning systems
With support from the Ministry of The Norwegian Foreign Affairs, NGI did mapping in vulnerable areas in Bangladesh, between 2009-2012, and installed several avalanche warning systems. According to local newspapers these alert systems, which can be used to predicts rainfall-induced landslides, have been very important tools to alert the exposed population, and have thereby saved many lives in areas prone to landslides.
The United Nations Office in Bangladesh (UNDP) now wants to expand these alert systems in areas where the Rohingya-refugees live. Bangladesh is a country that is very prone to both floods and landslides, especially in the monsoon season which lasts from June to September.
NGI has set-up three landslide early warning systems, and installed "tipping rain bucket", solar panels and data loggers that sends SMS when threshold values of precipitation are exceeded. This is described in a local newspaper article.
Rajinder Kumar Bhasin (left) is NGI's project leader for this work. Together with him in Bangladesh are Chris Piper, "Early Warning Specialist" in UNDP, and Trond Husby, "Head of Sub-office in Bangladesh". Lloyd Tunbridge (right), NGI, is also on site in Bangladesh this time, as he was in 2009-2012.