Bangladesh refugee camps

Location: Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Partners: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) administer the Rohingya refugee camps located south of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. These camps are constructed in rugged hilly terrain where the steeper slopes are prone to landslides that pose a credible risk to life for camp refugees. At the request of UNHCR, BGC Squared carried out a desktop and field assessment of landslides in the camps to develop a preliminary understanding of the landslide hazards and provide recommendations for risk management. BGC identified that landslides in the camps were nearly all, at least to some degree, a result of human activity or human alterations of the landscape. Most notably, this included the removal of vegetation, slope regrading with construction of cut and fill slopes, and disruption of natural or man-made drainage patterns. BGC recommended that landslide hazard management focus on human factors, which are controllable to some extent, and that UNHCR adopt a landslide risk management approach.