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Wednesday, Jul 23rd

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You are here: News Khonumthung Rats on the rampage in western Burma

Rats on the rampage in western Burma

Rats multiplying after devouring bamboo flowers are attacking hillside farms and destroying crops in Chin state in western Burma.  Rats multiplying after devouring bamboo flowers are attacking hillside farms and destroying crops in Chin state in western Burma.  

"Since June this year, rats have been attacking farms in our village. We sow paddy seeds in the day and the rats eat them at night.  The rodents have not spared maize either. It is a problem we are facing daily," a farmer in Falam Township, northern Chin state complained.

The most affected villages are Weibula, Mualzawl, Thlawrzawm, Ralum and Kawlfang in Falam Township.

Most of the farmers are frustrated and depressed while dealing with the rats that have destroyed almost all the crops such as paddy and maize in farms on hillsides. The people in the five villages are in a hopeless situation in terms of cultivation this year.

A farmer in Falam Township said "The situation is now out of control though the villagers kill around one hundred rats a night".

The rats destroying crops in this areas follows the famine like situation caused by rats in the other areas of Chin state leaving the people staring at starvation.

According to the Chin Human Rights Organization, there are no less than 100,000 Chin people who are directly affected by shortage of food in Chin state.

The proliferation of rats is in the farms near dense bamboo forests.

Meanwhile, the villagers have lambasted the Burmese military regime in Chin state saying that the local authorities had not adopted any measures to check multiplication of rats.

The regime turned a blind eye to the grave problem that its people are facing but have instead imposed restrictions on religious organisations and other Non Governmental Organisations which have been assisting with relief materials in the  affected areas.

Bamboo flowers bloom once in around 50 years when the life cycle of the bamboo comes to an end. The flowers which the rats eat leads to increased fertility in rats and they begin to multiply and eat crops leading to a famine in Chin state.

Bamboos, which grow naturally along the Indo-Burma border areas, started blooming in 2006.