CAD: Rat Infestation Still Hits Chin Villages
13 August 2010: Villagers in Zokhua area of Hakha Township face a fresh challenge of rat infestation that has brought serious damage to their crops and cultivations, according to a report released yesterday by CAD (Country Agency for Rural Development).
The report said 66,675 tins of corn and 2,337 tins for millet have been completely destroyed by a plague of rats in three villages such as Malsawm, Tinam and Zokhua. The villagers have lost 82% of their corns and 72% of millet only in Malsawm of Hakha Township.
“All corns and millets are severely eaten and destroyed by rats and the most difficult period is expected to be from September 2010 to July 2011 when existing stocks will run out and new crops will not yet be harvested. The food gap will have been prolonged due to the rapid multiplication of rats and their destruction of food crops,” stressed the CAD report.
Other villages, the report continued, have also been severely affected by the rat infestation.
Sources confirmed that food crisis caused by bamboo-and-rat-related mautam still continues in Southern Chin State, affecting villagers in the remote areas of bamboo-covered jungles.
As many as 200 villages were affected by severe food shortages associated with the bamboo flowering, and no less than 100,000 people, or 20 percent of the entire population of Chin State, were in need of immediate food aid according to a CHRO’s report On the Edge of Survival: The Continuing Rat Infestation and Food Crisis in Chin State, Burma published in September 2009.
Since 2007, Chin people have been facing severe food crisis, locally called mautam, caused by a once-in-fifty-year phenomenon in which bamboo flowers, bears fruits and dies consequently, which is followed by an influx of rats that destroy crops, fields and food storages.
In the wake of mautam-caused food crisis in Burma’s Chin State, CAD has been actively involved in responding to alleviate the effects and helping those victims suffering from starvation.
The Country Agency for Rural Development (CAD), a local non-governmental organization founded on 6 May 2004, has been working for remote villagers in 3 townships (Hakha, Matupi and Thangtlang) in the central part of Chin state and Monhla village in Ye Oo township of Sagaing division.
Van Biak Thang