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Mice menace causes food scarcity in Arakan State

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Mice infestation has destroyed paddy fields in Rakhine State causing food scarcity in villages in Tungup Township.

Mice in large numbers have destroyed seasonal vegetables and crops such as paddy, pumpkin, cucumber, chilli, egg-plant among others, since July, in farmlands of the ethnic Chin tribe on the Rakhine mountain range, in villages in Tungup Township, namely Yattawmu, Salu, Nyaung Lan Doe, Doe Nwe Sa, which has a total of about 300 households.

“The mice started destroying paddy when they began multiplying after eating bamboo flowers. We could not get even a single cucumber or a single piece of pumpkin from our farms. We only got chilli and egg-plant this year,” a villager from Nyaung Lan Doe told Mizzima.

A rat weighs about 50 ticals (1.8 lb). The rodents destroy farmlands at night coming in hordes, a villager from Salu coming to Tungup said.

The area is close to Paletwa Township in Chin State, where the same thing is happening.

“They come en masse. There are about 80 to 100 rodents every night and we beat them with sticks. They are not seen in the daytime,” he said.

Local people have to buy ordinary quality rice from Tungup at Kyat 13,000 per bag (about 130 lbs) for consumption as their farmlands have been destroyed by mice. Moreover, they have to go fishing and hunting for extra income. They sell the fish and meat in the town market.

Some Christian and Buddhist charitable organizations from Tungup are providing assistance to victims by giving them some rice and other foodstuff.

In the famine caused in Chin State by rats, thousands of people are suffering from food shortage.

In over 60 villages in Machanbaw Township, Puta-O district in northern Burma, about 4,000 people are facing shortage of food as mice and pests have destroyed their farmlands. These villagers badly need food supplies.

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 October 2009 14:02 )  

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