Maungdaw, Arakan State: Rohingya farmers have been facing scarcity of water for their summer paddy fields at present, said local elder on condition of anonymity.
“More than 100 acres of paddy fields have been dried up since April 15 for shortage of water from streams of mountain side – blocked by a road which was being built from Maungdaw north to south along the mountain side. The farmers supplied water to their paddy fields from streams of mountain side.”
Some owners of paddy fields have been identified as— Motolab (35), son of Nurul Islam, Hussain (50), son of Nazu Meah, Abdul Hakim (70), son of Abdul Gofur and Mohamed Nazir (30), son of Md. Noor , hailed from Khonza Bill (village) of Aley Than Kyaw under the Maungdaw Township.
An owner said on condition of anonymity, “I have two acres of paddy fields near the mountain side; I can’t supply water in the paddy fields as the water dam has been blocked by the constructing road since April 15, which was built by the concerned authority. So, I’m facing shortage of water for paddy fields.”
“Rohingya villagers were not allowed to cultivate paddy in the rainy season by the concerned authority in 2012 (last year) because of violence between Buddhist Rakhines and Rohingya Muslims. So, many Rohingya villagers have been suffering from the shortage of food in Arakan State.”
According to farmers, most of the Rohingya farmers grow paddy in summer to store rice for the upcoming rainy season but failed for shortage of water.
“Some Rohingya farmers of Khonza Bill and Udaung villages under the Maungdaw south grew different kinds of vegetables in the winter season such as— potato, chili, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, radish, carrot, tomato, watermelon and etc, but their farms were also destroyed by the road construction in January 2013 by authority, said elders from Maungdaw south.
“Rohingya people will be suffering continuously from the shortage of food in future as they have no alternative way in. The International aids will not be reached in northern Arakan as the concerned authorities barred them to reach there.”