Bhashan Char Island

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 21, 2022, 13:24

Bhasan Char Island is located in Bangladesh's Bay of Bengal, near the Hatiya Upazila. It is also known as Char Piya and was known as Thengar Char until 2019. It is located around 6 kilometres from Sandwip island and 60 kilometres from the mainland, near the shore.

Features of the Bhashan Char Island

  • Bhasan Char Island is a 40-square-kilometre island produced by Himalayan silt only a few years ago.
  • It was formed by silt near the entrance of Bangladesh's Meghna River and erupted from the water as one of a slew of shifting, unstable islands, or chars, as known locally.
  • Residents of Bhashan Char Island have no other form of transportation besides watercraft, which take three to three-and-half hours to reach from Hatiya.
  • The island is more of a mudflat than an island, and it is extremely prone to floods and tidal inundation.
  • During the rains, much of the land is submerged.
  • The island is at the mouth of the Meghna River, which empties into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The river silt deposited by Bhashan Char only surfaced in 2006.
  • Bangladesh plans to rehabilitate 100,000 of its one million refugees.
  • This is the first time the Bhashan Char Island has been populated.
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Concerns for the Bhashan Char Island

  • Rohingyas have expressed anxiety over the Bhashan Char Island being washed away by the seas.
  • Concerns regarding the restoration initiative have been aired by both the international community and the refugees.
  • Bhashan Char Island is located in an environmentally sensitive area prone to flooding, erosion, and cyclones.
  • During floods and bad weather, the Bhashan Char Island is unreachable.
  • Rainwater collection and underground tanks are the only sources to supply water to the Bhashan Char Island.
  • Several refugees on the island reported they didn't have enough food and that people with diseases, including children, were dying owing to a lack of access to proper medical treatment.

Measures for the Bhashan Char Island

  • Bangladesh's government is constructing a flood defence system on the Bhashan Char Island.
  • Under the protective system, two long dams are being built. The outside one is 12 feet tall, while the inner one is 33 feet tall.
  • Solar power systems have been erected to provide inhabitants with electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The administration remains optimistic that the project and strategy would aid in the orderly management of the enormous refugee population on Bhashan Char Island.
  • Bangladesh's Forestry Department has also started planting mangroves.
  • A fence, as well as watchtowers, will be installed around the perimeter.
  • To defend against tidal waves, the dwellings will be raised four feet above the ground.

Thousands of Rohingyas from the Cox's Bazar refugee camp are being relocated to the Bhashan Char Island’s newly built facility.

Humanitarians oppose the proposal, fearing bad living conditions on the new Bhashan Char Island, and are calling for an impartial UN assessment. Environmentalists warn that the island is environmentally vulnerable and susceptible to cyclones and floods.

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FAQs on Bhashan Char Island

Q1. Which country is resettling its refugees to the Bhashan Char Island?

Ans. Bangladesh is resettling its refugees to the Bhashan Char Island.

Q2. What are the other names of Bhashan Char Island?

Ans. Thengar Char and Char Piya are the other names of Bhashan Char Island.

Q3. How was the Bhashan Char Island formed?

Ans. The Bhashan Char Island was formed by silt near the entrance of Bangladesh's Meghna River and erupted from the water as one of a slew of shifting, unstable islands, or chars, as known locally.

Q4. Where is Bhashan Char Island situated?

Ans. Bhashan Char Island is located in Bangladesh's Bay of Bengal, near the Hatiya Upazila.

Q5. Why is Bhashan Char Island deemed unsuitable for resettling Rohingya refugees?

Ans. Several refugees on Bhashan Char Island reported they didn't have enough food and that people with diseases, including children, were dying owing to a lack of access to proper medical treatment.