The government of Chin State sent rice, domestic products and construction materials to the town of Paletwa this Monday, October 12. Fighting between Burma Army and Arakan Army prevented rice and other essential items from reaching the town in southern Chin State by regular routes for many months.
Soe Htet, the state’s spokesperson and minister of Municipal Affairs, said 1,700 bags of rice were shipped from Sami to Paletwa in 12 vehicles. Domestic items, other food items and building materials were sent in 29 vehicles. Everything was expected to arrive on Tuesday, October 13, he said.
“The Burma Army is providing security during the entire journey from Sami to Paletwa…We bought rice with private donations and funds provided by the Ministry of Social, Relief and Resettlement.”
The rice was purchased in Pakokku and Kalay towns.
The route is very poor, said Soe Htet, explaining that only smaller vehicles can traverse the highway. “Big trucks can’t go that way. So we used six-wheel trucks to transport all the supplies. We’re trying our best so people don’t run out of food in Paletwa.”
Water and land routes between Kyauktaw, located in Rakhine State, and Paletwa, in Chin State, have been blocked by fighting for almost an entire year. Food prices soared after the supply routes were cut off and supplies dwindled to nothing.
While donations have not yet arrived in Paletwa, a local woman told Khonumthung News that each resident of an internally displaced person camp received three cups of rice, which she said will last them for three days. “We want to get enough rice, but we also want the government to manage rice prices. So it’s affordable,” the woman said.