Fleeing Rohingya carry one key asset: solar panels

UKHIYA, Bangladesh (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

“This solar panel saved my life,” said Ayatullah, 18, once a shopkeeper in Myanmar’s Mongdu township and now a resident of the Thaingkhali refugee camp in Bangladesh.

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State since August, when the Myanmar army launched a crackdown following attacks on police posts and an army base by Muslim militants.

Many reported making an arduous trek lasting between 5 and 15 days along hilly and waterlogged roads – but the hazardous journey did not prevent many of them from carrying a solar panel with them.

Interviews by the Thomson Reuters Foundation with more than 50 Rohingya refugees in Balukhali and Thaingkhali camps in Ukhiya, and observations of refugee households in the camps, suggest large numbers of refugee families brought solar panels with them.

Read the full story by Mushfique Wadud at Reuters
Photo: Mushfique Wadud/ Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women’s rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit news.trust.org/climate

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