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16 February 2009

Since 2007, unusually large numbers of rats have been flooding out of the forests of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), causing major suffering and hardship for local communities. These rat floods in the CHT are a real and scientifically accepted phenomenon, and similar events are known to periodically occur in many parts of the world. Because there are suddenly so many rats, communities don't know how to control the problem, and the rats are devouring everything they can find in farmers' fields and houses. [...] In this past year, the World Food Programme has been delivering emergency aid to some of the affected communities, but more needs to be done to deal with growing food shortages and other potential implications. Because it doesn't happen often, little is scientifically understood about rat floods. This lack of knowledge has been recognised, particularly by the United Nations Development Programme which recently commissioned a team of scientists to gather together all the existing knowledge.


6 February 2009

A poor farmer from northern Bangladesh was awarded a 14in colour television yesterday after being crowned the country’s rat-killing champion. Binoy Kumar Karmakar, 40, used traps, poison and flooding to kill 39,650 rats over the course of a year, equivalent to one every 13 minutes, according to government officials and local media reports. He cut off and kept the creatures’ tails as proof of his claim to the top prize in the competition, which was organised by the Government to stop rats from eating scarce food supplies. [...] Last year a plague of rats in the southeastern region of Chittagong Hill Tracts destroyed the crops of tens of thousands of people, and caused famine in some remote villages. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) distributed aid to 120,000 people for four months after the infestation had forced villagers – mostly from local hill tribes – to live on wild roots.


5 February 2009

A poor farmer from northern Bangladesh was crowned the country's rat killing champion on Thursday with a final score of 39 650 dead rodents after a year-long hunt. Binoy Kumar Karmakar, 40, used traps, poison and flooding to kill his quarry, and collected their tails to prove his success rate and claim a prize from the government. [...] Last year an invasion of rats in Bangladesh's southeastern Chittagong hill tracts region wiped out crops and caused a famine in some remote villages. The UN's World Food Programme distributed food aid to 120 000 people for four months after the invasion forced affected tribal people to live on wild roots.