Prices of commodities shoot up in Maungdaw

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Prices of essential commodities have been shooting up after recently flash floods and Cyclone Komen hit in northern Arakan state, said a trader from Maungdaw Town preferring not to be named.  “The prices of rice, onion, sugar. Edible oil and etc. have been skyrocketing in Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships.”

Before floods, a 50 rice bag was sold at Kyat 15,000 to 20,000. After flood and Cyclone, a 50 kg rice of bag is being sold at Kyat 35,000 to 27,000 and at present at Kyat 23,000; a Viss (1 Viss=1.66gm) of sugar is being sold at Kyat 1,800 while it was sold at Kyat 1,200; one Viss of onion is being sold at Kyat 2,300 while it was sold only Kyat 1,000; a Viss of edible oil is being sold 2,800 while it was sold at Kyat 2,000 before flood and Cyclone Komen, the trader more added.

More than 1486,000 acres of rice fields are currently under water, with more than 430,000 acres destroyed by the floods. Burma has been hit particularly hard by weeks of torrential rain with 12 out of 14 states and regions suffering flooding. More than 100 people dead and nearly one million people affected nationwide by the flood, according to sources.

As of 7 August, the Government of Burma Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD) reports that close to 590,000 people have been severely affected by monsoonal floods across 12 of Myanmar’s 14 states and regions since mid-July, according to  the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Burma report.

According to the Arakan (Rakhine) State Government, Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, Minbya, Maungdaw and Mrauk-Oo are the most severely affected areas in Arakan State.

Initial assessments in Arakan indicate that the floods have severely damaged the rice harvest. Many water wells have been contaminated by flood and salt water, according to state government report.

Since August 10, Rohingya people from northern and southern sides of Maungdaw Town are barred to go to Maungdaw Town to buy ration, essential things and medicines for lack of greenlight cards. The concerned authorities forced to accept greenlight cards, but Rohingyas refused to accept it. Therefore, the concerned authorities restricted movement of Rohingyas to accept the greenlight cards. It caused scarcity of medicines and essential commodities in rural areas, said Mohamed Noor, a shopkeeper from northern Maungdaw Town.

After flood, the government supplied — one mat, one mosquito net, one water filter, one tooth brush, toothpaste, clothes and one blanket to the Natala villagers (Rakhines), but not to Rohingya community, Ahmed Hussin, a young man from the locality said.

Unconfirmed reported said 20 people were dead during the floods and cyclone Komen in Buthidaung but, confirmed 4 people dead from Maungdaw. Many paddy fields were destroyed by floods in two townships.

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