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One of the more unusual but still vital aspects of running a refugee camp for the Rohingya muslim community in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh, is being responsible for fire safety.

However, in a densely-packed camp with over 50,000 people living and cooking together, the risk of a fire breaking out and spreading uncontrollably is extremely high and the results could be absolutely catastrophic.

Christian Aid was invited by the Bangladesh government to establish the Jamtoli camp in response to the urgent need to provide food and shelter to those fleeing Myanmar. However, setting up and running such a camp requires many other facilities such as:-

  • security
  • toilets
  • water supply
  • drainage
  • health facilities
  • dustbins and waste-management
  • solar lamps
  • communications infrastructure
  • education provision

Therefore, as part of those educational requirements, with the help of the Bangladesh Fire Services and Civil Defence Organisation, we have been training 650 women who are users of the community kitchens in fire safety and firefighting.

Community kitchen in Jamtoli camp

There are 52 eco-friendly multi-purpose community kitchens which have been set up to concentrate the cooking into designated, controlled areas whilst also reducing the dependency on firewood and preventing further deforestation in the surrounding area by using Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) burners for cooking. In addition, these kitchens are also equipped with fire extinguishers, sand and water-buckets, which has also greatly reduced the risk of fire breaking out in the camp. These courses have been extremely well-attended with 90% of the women now trained in fire safety.

For more information visit our Rohingya Crisis Update