Deadly monsoon rains threaten Rohingya refugees in makeshift camps

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees are facing a new deadly threat - from monsoon rains.

Heavy rains have flooded parts of the group's sprawling camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, where almost 700,000 have fled to from Rakhine State in neighbouring Myanmar.

Fleeing violence allegedly perpetrated against them, a number of Rohingya refugees have died because of mudslides caused by the extreme weather.

Many makeshift homes in the camp, built from bamboo and plastic, have been destroyed, meaning the huts and shacks are now having to be rebuilt.

ITV News Correspondent Debi Edward has been to visit some of those affected by the monsoon rain.

Bangladesh, which is in the middle of its monsoon season, experienced an unusually large amount of rainfall over the weekend.

The monsoon season is expected to peak in July.

And it is feared that another three metres of water could yet be dumped on the camp over the next two months.

In such a congested area, with thousands of people sharing toilets and water facilities, it is feared the rains could lead to an outbreak in disease.

The heavy rains caused mudslides, which destroyed homes.

Aid agenices have been working to help build drainage systems, strengthen shelters, and create better access routes.

But they say they are facing challenges in moving refugees to safer areas, and with the monsoons having already begun, has become a race against time.

Nabi Hossain was one of those whose home was destroyed by the rains.

He and his family were evacuated to a different camp, but now he is working to rebuild his shelter inside Cox's Bazar.

Nabi Hossain was one of those whose home was destroyed.

"There were 10 to 15 houses above us which started to collapse, and all the mud and water was coming down into our home," he told ITV News.

"We were very scared, but managed to get out."

Mr Hossain and his family were evacuated to another camp initially.

Timeline of Rohingya crisis:

  • August 2017: Military crackdown in Rakhine State after alleged Rohingya insurgent attack

  • Exodus of Rohingya people begins

  • September 2017: At least 500,000 refugees reach neighbouring Bangladesh

  • October 2017: More Rohingya leave their Rakhine homes after houses set on fire

  • November 2017: Refugee numbers top 620,000

  • February 2018: Boris Johnson meets Aung San Suu Kyi, urging solution to problem

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people have been displaced from their homes in Burma since the summer of 2017.

Authorities in the south-east Asian nation have been accused of carrying out extreme violence against the Muslim minority group.

Others have claimed Myanmar has engaged in an attempt at systematic genocide.

The plight of the Rohingya has been widely publicised, and leader Aung San Suu Kyi has found herself under increasingly pressure over failures to protect the group.

It is feared another three metres of rain could be dumped on the camp.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has repeatedly called on her to help the Rohingya refugees safely return to their homes.

Despite murmurings from the government in Myanmar, there is no sign the refugees have begun to return home.

In the last few months, more than 9,000 people have fled to Cox's Bazar.

Agency workers have described the current situation caused by the rains as an "emergency inside and emergency".