Diverting elephants in a refugee camp
In August 2017, thousands of Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh, fleeing persecution and violence in Myanmar. Peta was on the border helping to manage the sudden influx of people in urgent need of support.
“We started to see a trickle of people coming across the border. In a couple of weeks, it had gone from a trickle to a flood. Tens of thousands of people were coming across every day.”
“Tens of thousands of people
were coming across every day.”
Humanitarian organisations worked together to support and settle a population roughly twice the size of Canberra in just a few months.
“People would come off the boat and they’d be put on a bus to go get vaccinated. Then they were given a small plot of land, some tarps, some bamboo. These are people who are traumatised and all of a sudden they’re building a structure for themselves.”
The lack of infrastructure quickly became a challenge. “We had to put in water points – there was no water there. There were no roads, there were no latrines.”
“These were the day-to-day challenges we we’re dealing with.”