Government allocated relief rice and funds for the disaster struck villages of the remote Sajek union under Baghaichhari upazila of Rangamati are allegedly not being distributed properly among villagers in remote areas.
Low production of this year’s jhum (slash-and-burn method) cultivation led the valley dwellers to an acute food crisis. Government agencies have been distributing relief to the affected people in several phases, but people from remote villages complained that they were not receiving aid even though they were more harshly affected than the villages adjacent to the union parishad office.
Ginarani Tripura said her house was 7km away from the union parishad office and she walked all the way with her daughter to receive some relief food and money, but discovered that her name was not on the list after arriving.
“My child is very sick. Some assistance would be very helpful in this situation,” she said,. adding that she had no idea why they were removed from the list after the union parishad member collected their names.
Another woman, Rupasriri Tripura from Debachhori village, said: “I am not entitled to relief as my name is not on the list. Many of our villagers are facing the same situation.”
Karbari Ripoti Mohon from west Khagracchari said assigned staff members prepared the list after visiting each and every village, but it is not clear why some of the names of villagers in remote areas were subsequently removed.
Shanti Tripura, a member of Ward No 2, said there were 238 families in his union and most them were jhum farmers.
“I sent all these names to the union parishad chairman, but none of them were listed to receive government relief.”
Sajek union parishad chairman Nelson, however, said they have been strictly following the list for relief distribution.
"Remote villagers have been given preference as they are the worst affected of this crisis," he added.