Replacement plots to be given to Rohingya families whose homes were razed

  • Written by Kaladan Press
  • Published in Kaladan Press

Housing plots will soon be provided to northern Maungdaw villagers whose homes were burned down last year, according to area residents.

Local officials said that land for about 300 homes is being prepared in War Peik village, where about 389 structures were razed.

The plan will see every household that lost a home given a 40-foot by 60-foot plot, according to U Zaw Phyo, administrator of Keygan Pyin village tract in Maungdaw north.

“We will set up more such plots when and where necessary,” he added.

The villagers will be given an undisclosed amount of money to build their own houses on the government allotted plots.

Villagers accused security forces of committing arson in an attempt to drive out Muslim Rohingya families amid a counterinsurgency campaign launched last October. The government and the Tatmadaw have denied the accusation, suggesting instead that the Rohingya community lit their own homes on fire; UN officials have said the assertion is difficult to believe.

According to New York-based Human Rights Watch, analysis of satellite footage revealed that more than 1,500 structures were razed in northern Rakhine State, following the start of the Tatmadaw’s counterinsurgency campaign. On at least three occasions, arson was documented by HRW in villages shortly after the security forces conducted a sweep.

War Peik resident Mir Kasim said that the authorities are currently in the process of reclaiming 24 acres of land where only burned out structures remain.

But other War Peik villagers said the replacement plots being prepared by the local authorities are very small, and will not allow them enough space to grow subsistence crops, or build shelters for livestock on the property.

Currently, the World Food Programme is providing food aid for parts of Keygan Pyin and War Peik villages, but has not yet resumed full delivery.

“We cannot supply food for everyone yet,” said an official from WFP who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Edited by: Laignee Barron