Fire Destroyed 18,00 Tins of Rice in Matupi Township
02 April 2012: Wild fire, believed to have spread from the slash-and-burn fields, destroyed 18,00 tins of rice (1 tin = 10.5 kg) stored in the granaries in Thangping village, Matupi Township in southern parts of Chin State last Friday.
The blaze worsened by strong winds and the high temperature of the dry season burnt down to ashes a total of four rice storage, built about two miles away from the village, according to a Chin local.
“The flames were so strong that the areas cleared along the edge of the fields to prevent fire from spreading became useless. Once we learned about the fire, all the villagers fetched water as much as they could get but their efforts were in vain,” said the Chin villager.
Other rice storage and three nearby houses were saved from the blaze after the villagers took the thatched roofs away.
Up to this date, the local government has not taken any actions in an effort to address the situation and provide necessary assistance to the Chin victims.
In January this year, a report by UN-OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) said the food security condition in parts of Chin State, especially in Kanpetlet, Matupi, Mindat and Paletwa townships, is of great concern due to crop failures and an extreme reduction of yield in 2011.
In the aftermath of the devastating bamboo-and-rat-related food crisis that has ravaged much of Chin State over the past few years, a renewed food shortage is on the cards to hit Chin villagers in remote areas of southern Chin State.
“We don’t know what to do really even though we want to help the villagers who have just lost all their stored rice,” said the local villager.
A similar incident took place on 15 March 2010 in Pakheng village in Matupi Township, completely damaging 11 houses.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang