Staff Correspondent: Bhasan Char is geologically stable and the forcibly displaced Rohingyas, who are being relocated temporality from Cox’s Bazar camps are safe on the island, experts said yesterday.
“Geologically this Island (Bhasan Char) is stable… Bhasan Char is a safe area for Rohingyas,” Dr ASM Maksud Kamal, pro-vice chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) and a professor of its Disaster Science and Management Department, told a seminar in the Capital.
The Department of Peace and Conflict Studies of DU in association with Central Foundation for International and Strategic Studies (CFIIS) arranged the seminar titled ‘Relocation of Rohingya Displaced People from Cox’s Bazar to Bhasan Char: Opportunities and Challenges’ at NababNawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban on the campus.
Dr Kamal said the living condition in Bhasan Char is better than that in Cox’s Bazar camps, while education facilities are being provided to Rohingya children in the island in an organised way.
“Livelihood options are also better in Bhasan Char than those in Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar,” he said while speaking as the chief guest.
Dr Kamal, also a disaster management expert, said considering the geological aspects, a research team, led by him, conducted a study on Bhasanchar in the last couple of months to know whether the island is stable.
Bhasanchar is a longshore island covering an area of around 17 square kilometres, he said, adding that this island would not be affected by erosion.
About two billion tonnes of sediment is coming down from the upstream through the Meghna River annually and depositing at the Bay of Bengal, he said.
“This island is extending day by day and it is predicted that one-day Bhasan Char will be connected with Sandwip,” added the expert. About natural disasters, he said, cyclone centres were built at 120 clusters in Bhasan Char, which would help minimise disaster consequences.
There is also no possibility of strikes of both transcontinental and local tsunamis in Bhasan Char and that is why it is a safe area for Rohingyas, he added.
Dr Kamal said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina showed her generosity by sheltering the displaced Myanmar citizens and achieved the status of the ‘mother of humanity’.
He urged the international community to mount pressure on Myanmar to bring Rohingyas back.
CFISS chairman Commodore MN Absar said when the developed countries denied the entry of Rohingyas, Bangladesh gave shelter to them on humanitarian ground. But, they have been posing various threats, he added.
He said to get a livable condition, more Rohingyas are willing to go to Bhasan Char voluntarily from the Cox’s Bazar camps. “Before their return to Myanmar, they should live a dignified life,” he added.
Prof DrZillurRahman of the Disaster Science and Management Department said sediment is depositing at the Bay of Bengal and Bhasan Char could be kept stable by taking some engineering measures.
He said a nine-feet-high embankment has already been constructed around the Bhasan Char and its height will increase to 19 feet to protect the island from natural disasters, including cyclone and storm surge.
Dean of the Social Sciences Faculty DrSadekaHalim, Prof DrMdRafiqul Islam of the Peace and Conflict Studies Development and Prof DrDelwarHossain of the International Relations Department also spoke at the seminar.
DrMdTouhidul Islam, an associate professor of the Peace and Conflict Studies Development, presented the findings of a study.
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