Severe weather could further devastate an already dire situation in Cox’s Bazar, where aid groups are scrambling to better prepare the overcrowded, hilly Rohingya refugee settlements for flooding and landslides.

As Bangladesh nears cyclone season, which will see heavy rain and high wind tear out of the Bay of Bengal from March through July, the humanitarian response in the world’s largest refugee camp could quickly turn from immense challenge to catastrophe, aid groups warn.

Health professionals, having just battled an outbreak of diphtheria, are particularly concerned about the potential for the spread of waterborne diseases in the event of heavy flooding.

Because the country experiences two cyclone seasons every year, the government of Bangladesh is experienced in cyclone response and is working with the Inter Sector Coordination Group to extend its preparedness program to cover the refugee settlements, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

But cyclone response plans usually hinge on the establishment of community shelters and evacuation points — two aspects that will be impossible to provide for 1 million Rohingya refugees due to the highly congested site, said Caroline Gluck, UNHCR senior public information officer deployed to Cox’s Bazar.

Read the full article on monsoon season in Bangladesh by Kelli Rogers at Devex International Development