Food shortages in Chin State following floods, landslides

Scene of flood devastation in Paletwa. (PHOTO: Mary Lin)

By SHWE AUNG 2 August 2015

Thousands of local people in Hakha, Tiddim, Falam, Paletwa and Matupi townships in Chin State are facing severe food shortages following mass disruptions to transport due to landslides and floods in the region.

The leaders of ten ethnic Chin-based political parties have signed and sent a letter to President Thein Sein, urging him to order airlifts of emergency food aid to those affected areas.

Speaking to DVB by telephone on Sunday, the vice-chairman of the Chin Progressive Party, No Htan Kap, said, “Landslides [in this region] are not unusual. But now, water is cascading from the mountains. Floods are thigh-high, and the current is carrying rocks so it is too dangerous to go outside. Many roads have been cut off. If food is not sent in by helicopter, many people will have big problems.”

Flash floods and landslides have caused about 50 houses to collapse in the last few days in state capital Hakha.

The Chinland Guardian has reported that 100 houses were submerged by high floodwaters in Paletwa Township, while at least ten homes were destroyed by landslides in Matupi Township,

Meanwhile, the price of commodities, such as rice, oil, eggs and other staple foods, has increased exponentially at local markets.

Since Friday, helicopters have been dispatched from Naypyidaw airport to transport supplies to the towns of Mrauk-U and Minbya, the worst hit areas in Arakan State.

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