Food Crisis Escalates In Southern Chin State
02 September 2010: Mautam-related food crisis has been escalating in three townships of Southern Chin State, seriously affecting the villagers, with some being dependent only on jungle foods such as yams and eddoes now, according to a local committee newly set up by concerned volunteers.
In a report released on 25 August 2010, the committee said 14,384 households of 407 villages, with 79,830 people in Mindat, Kanpetlet and Paletwa Townships of Southern Chin State have been affected, with a total of 25,631 acres of cultivated land having been destroyed, and 688,057 tins of rice, corn and millets lost.
“People have lost their economic dependency on the land. In many cases, they are entirely dependent on the jungle for food, digging for yam or eating leaves and roots. They are unable to access medical treatment. Due to malnutrition, many people have been suffering from malaria, pneumonia, dysentery and famine related diseases,” the report said.
Since last year, the three townships in bamboo-covered jungle of Southern Chin State have been facing rat infestation, which have caused vast damage to their crops, food storages, and cultivations.
Due to the devastating conditions caused by a plague of rats, children have to drop out of schools to help parents find foods in the jungle, and some villagers are forced to leave their own places while others are suffering from malnutrition and mautam-related diseases, according to the report.
Van Biak Thang