Life in the midst of unrest in Jamtola Refugee Camp

Life in the midst of unrest in Jamtola Refugee Camp
ANNILA HARRIS, WORLD VISION BANGLADESH
 
Arfa’s newborn had not been named as his arrival into this world not met with grand celebrations but with the harsh reality of unrest and violence. 
 
30-year-old Alom Sha, father of six, worked as a tenant farmer, in the village where they lived. 

His wife 30-year-old Arfa, was due to give birth when violence erupted in Myanmar. 

"There were sound of gunshots everywhere, we took refuge wherever we could and just ran for our lives. It was difficult to even walk for my condition. But I had to run so that my unborn child had a chance to live," says Arfa. 

After crossing the border, it took the family three days to reach a refugee camp.

Pictured: A view over of Jamtola Refugee Camp, Bangladesh where refugees have settled.
 
With limited access to lives saving essentials, here at the camp, the family runs on survival mode. The older children, trek down hill, pitch in to gather water.
 
"I can't do any hard labour because I just gave birth. From the last 15 days we haven’t been able to eat three meals day. My husband tries to find some rice as relief that we could eat today," says Arfa.

The Jamtola Refugee Camp is now full of mothers like Arfa.


Most of the women, here, have newborn babies. Due to no access to nutritious food for lactating mother the newborn are unable to get enough breastfeed. The families roam the campsite, all day, in search of relief for their family. Due to lack of latrines, the sanitary condition in the refugee camp is deteriorating. Most of the newborn babies are at health risk. 

"Now we have something to eat but we can't use any latrines. We need to get down from this hill and go to the paddy field to defecate. Most of us haven’t bathed in few days due to lack of water," says Arfa.

The refugees, who have been uprooted from their homes, just focus to get by from one day to another.