ActionAid set to relieve Mautam-ravaged Mizoram

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Aizawl, Apr 4 (UNI) The ActionAid-launched global campaign ''Hunger Free'' has despatched two trucks carrying food for families in remote pockets of Lawngtlai district in Mautam-ravaged southern Mizoram.

ActionAid North East Region officials said here today, ''The prime agenda of the campaign is to halve world hunger by 2015 and it is all set to rescue thousands of people in Mizoram who are on the brink of starvation following the Mautam (bamboo flowering)-resulted food shortage.'' The officials said the organisation would deliver emergency food aid to over 3,000 villagers in remote areas of Lawngtlai district bordering Bangladesh and Burma.

''Villagers are starving after rats pillaged crops across the state. Estimates indicate almost 95 per cent destruction of rice crops. Central and state governments urgently need to step up the response to meet the food crisis,'' ActionAid officials said.

Mr Mrinal Gohain of ActionAid reiterated, ''Emergency measures taken up by the state government have by and large proved inadequate in the face of food crisis.'' The relief packages would be delivered with the help of 40 volunteers from the Aizawl-based coordinating partner Centre for Peace and Development and Lai Young Association.

Food items, including 25,000 kgs of rice, 1,750 kgs of dal and 500 kgs of iodised salts, would be delivered to 10 villages - Tuisentlang, Mautlang, Chamdur project I, Chamdur project II, Lunghauka, Laitlang, Tuidumzau, Betsury, Bolisora and Fangfarlui in southern Mizoram.

Another crisis resulted from the Mautam famine was shortage of seeds, Mr Gohain added.

''Unless they get adequate seeds villages will see yet another crop failure. Farmers are unwilling to sow for next season until the rats have been eradicated,'' Mr Manik Shah Mazumder of the ActionAid said.

He alleged that government relief measures such as a reward of a rupee for every rat tail, bonfires of killed rats and free rat poison and rat traps had brought little respite from the rodents.


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