Famine takes lives, mostly children in Myammar: Relief Committee

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Aizawl, Aug 22 (UNI) More than 44 people, mostly children, have died of famine in Chin state of Myanmar bordering Mizoram, according to Aizawl-based Chin Humanitarian and Relief Committee.

The famine triggered by Mautam or gregarious bamboo flowering causing crop failure in Mizoram and neighbouring Myanmar.

The cyclic bamboo flowering phenomenon which occurs every 48 years have also resulted in acute rice shortage in Mizoram due to rodent proliferation, resulted by the bamboo flowers.

Mizoram shares the same geographical boundary with the Myanmarese nation and the people are also of the same origins.

However, unlike Mizoram which was receiving aid from the state, the Central government and international agencies, the military Junta in Myanmar turned its ''Nelson's eye'' to the suffering of its people, Salai Chinzah, Chairman of the Committee, told UNI here today.

''Since we only have started assessment, the actual number of deaths could be much higher. And sure it will increase if immediate relief is not provided,'' Mr Chinzah added.

Due to poor communications in most of the affected areas, the reality of the famine in villages could not be known to the global agencies, according to Mr Chinzah.

''Most of the affected people are now feeding on wild yams and the hardship has also driven more than 300 children out of school because they had to help their parents in search of wild yams in the forest,'' Mr Chinzah said, adding more than 400 famine-affected people have fled to Saiha district in the southern parts of Mizoram for their survival.

UNI ZS PC AB SW RK1710

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