FROM THE FIELD: Bangladesh’s bamboo boom

1 January 2020

More than 24 million bamboo poles have been harvested for construction projects in the enormous refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, thanks, in part, to support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). 

IOM/Abdullah Al Mashrif

Over 900,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are living in Cox’s Bazar, an area where tropical heat, high humidity and sandy soil create the ideal growing conditions for bamboo. 

When they arrived in 2017, the fast-growing tree provided the ideal low-cost building solution to the huge demand for semi-permanent shelters and other buildings.  

Now, IOM is working with the Bangladeshi authorities to build a sustainable bamboo market which will continue to provide for the refugees needs but also make the isolated region of the country an international hub for the product. 

Read more here about Bangladesh’s bamboo boom.


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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Bamboo-boring beetles wreak havoc in Rohingya refugee camps, UN agency races to respond

Beset by millions of bamboo-chomping beetles, almost every shelter in the vast Rohingya refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh, needs replacing. With just over four months to go until the beginning of the monsoon season, the race is on for IOM, the United Nations migration agency which is managing the camp, to provide families living in the worst-affected temporary dwellings, with new and more durable bamboo.