The township of Nogmung, also spelled Naung Mung, in Puta-O District, is currently experiencing a severe shortage of rice, resulting in soaring prices. Persistent rainfall for over two months has caused a landslide on the Puta-O to Nogmung road, causing delays in rice deliveries to the township, which is located 1,789 feet above sea level in Kachin State.
A woman from Ward 2 in Nogmung town stated, “Rice shipments have not yet arrived. Only small cars can travel between Puta-O and Nogmung due to the high transportation costs.” She added that a bag of rice now costs over 100,000 kyat ($48), and a single egg is priced at 500 kyat.
“Rice sellers are unable to make a profit due to the rice shortage.”
Another woman mentioned, “Rain has been falling continuously for three months.” Local farmers are unable to dry their paddy seeds under the sun. Although some townspeople can still afford to buy rice, the situation is different in the village, where a bag of rice can cost as high as 170,000 kyat. Consequently, they are substituting rice with a jungle plant called Ou-lai, tubers, and other vegetables.
The damage caused to bridges and the 100-feet long road between Rap Bawt and Kasam Dam villages has further impeded the arrival of lorries in Nogmung since 10 June.
With the ongoing rainfall in the township, locals fear the possibility of facing starvation. The township comprises six wards, 13 village tracts, and over 40 villages.