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Words and photos by Eduardo de Francisco
In the months since waves of violence hit Arakan state in June and October 2012, about 100,000 people –mostly Rohingya- still live in camps. Some of the camps for the displaced are near the Arakan capital Sittwe, while others are scattered around the state. For the most part, the Rohingya are forced to live in appalling conditions, without regular access to food, clean water or sanitation facilities. There is almost no work available and thus little chance to earn a consistent income.
Some of the displaced Rohingya live with relatives, but many have taken refuge in buildings unfit to house them – schools and madrasas where 70 people sleep in 100 square meter spaces and malnutrition and tuberculosis is rampant.
Since the probability of returning to their villages in the foreseeable future is extremely low, all they can do for now is wait. And that’s exactly what they do while trying to rebuild some kind of normalcy.