Some 10 tonnes of foodgrains have been distributed among the people of remote villages of Sajek in Rangamati who have been starving for the last three months.
Officials of Rangamati Hill District Council distributed 10 kgs of rice among each of around 1,000 families with the help of Sajek Union Parishad Thursday.
With the latest, some 28 tonnes of foodgrains have been distributed in the area, reports our correspondent.
Also Read- Food crisis continues in Sajek villages
On Wednesday, the army, assisted by the air force and Border Guard Bangladesh, distributed 5 tonnes of rice among the indigenous peoples. The food supplies were transported to the remote areas of Sajek in a helicopter.
On May 1, the Rangamati district administration, from its own fund, too distributed 5 tonnes of rice. The amount that the UP authorities distributed on April 21 was eight tonnes.
Scarcity of rice because of low production in this year’s jhum (slash-and-burn method) cultivation and eventual skyrocketing of its price in the local markets have forced over 2,000 families of those villages to go hungry almost every day.
[caption id="attachment_61471" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Members of the army and the BGB carry foodgrains for the people in remote areas of Sajek in Rangamati who have been facing acute food crisis for around three months
Price of coarse rice has gone as high as Tk90-110 a kg from Tk30-35 in their locality that include Puran Jopui, Notun Jopui, Udolchhari, Puran Thangnong, Notun Thangnong and Tharum Para villages.
People need to travel around 15km to go to Machalong Bazar in Sajek Sadar to get rice at fair price. Many have resorted to feeding on alternatives like spuds and gourds.
In recent past, food crisis hit the people of Sajek, Bilaichhari, Jurachhari upazilas of Rangamati; and Thanchi and Ruma upazilas of Bandarban in 2012. Around 6,500 affected families were brought under a relief package for six months at that time.
But since 2013 until last year, many Jhum farmer families in the hinterland of Thanchi abandoned their ancestral homesteads and went east in search of deliverance from starvation and debt. The government had to deploy helicopters last year to deliver foodgrains in those areas.
Sajek Union Parishad Chairman Nelson Chakma earlier told the Dhaka Tribune that they had sought a further allocation of 600 tonnes of foodgrains to feed these people.