On the 27th of October there was an article in the Himalayan Times https://thehimalayantimes.com/…/rohingya-refugees-who… about Rohingya refugees living in Kathmandu’s Kopan area. After reading the article, a group from NAG went to check out the current situation. We were shocked to find out in what horrible condition these people are surviving.
As soon as we could, we set up a “NAG health camp” to give initial medical treatment. The NAG Clinic has treated over 251 cases so far. The refugees are suffering from all kinds of conditions. Many of the men have injured backs from carrying heavy loads on construction sites and then don’t get paid properly. The women came to our health camp seeking treatment for gastric issues, colds, lung problems, stomach pain and psychological problems. Many of the children are malnourished, have worms, ear infections and skin diseases. Also, many suffer from colds, chest problems and psychological problems. It was heartbreaking seeing how they are all suffering.
Visiting their camp and speaking with different individuals gave us more insight into what struggles they have and the dire situation they are in. One good thing is that most of the children are able to attend Nepali government schools.
The 2 main problems are:
The parents can’t get proper work due to not having any documentation nor legal status. This means they are being taken advantage of and have trouble making enough money to feed their families.
These Rohingya refugees cannot go back to their home country, Myanmar, due to persecution. They’ve fled to Nepal. And now they live in fear of being kicked off the land where their camp is located and have no other place to go. I am not sure how we can help. We will try and talk to the landlords and hope they will let them stay.
For now, we will bring them food, blankets and set up small libraries with books for the kids. But they need long term support. They need a safe place to live and they need to be allowed to work.