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2,500 acres of forest land destroyed for Rohingya influx
Cox’s Bazar, BdChronicle:
Some 2,500 acres of woodland have so far been destroyed following the influx of Rohingyas who have taken shelter in camps here fleeing persecution on them by Myanmar security forces in Rakhine State, incurring a loss of Tk 150 crore.
M Ali Kabir, forest officer of Cox’s Bazar South Division, said Rohingyas have been cutting forest to set up camps and collect firewood for cooking their food.
The Rohingya people living in different camps burn down wood worth Tk 25 lakh every day to cook their meals, according to local sawmill traders.
Authorities of Abdur Rashid Sawmill said they sell the lowest quality of wood at Tk 200 per maund.
Meanwhile, the district forest office has sent a proposal to the higher authorities seeking Tk 50,000 for every hectare re-afforestation, said Kabir.
Mohammad Abul Kalam, joint secretary of Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRRC), said a huge amount of woodland has been destroyed to make houses and arrange fuel for the Rohingyas.
The authorities are trying to create alternative fuel source for the ethnic minority of Rakhine State of Myanmar, Kalam added.