Saturday, March 29, 2008


"The people of Mizoram, a tiny, remote state of north-east India squeezed between Burma and Bangladesh, have known for the past 48 years that they would face famine in 2008. Confirmation came last November when the local species of bamboo that dominates the state's landscape began to burst into flower - a peculiar ecological phenomenon that happens about twice a century.

A plague of rats rapidly followed, feasting on the bamboo's protein-richavocado-like fruit, before swarming to consume the farmers' rice paddies, grain harvests and food stockpiles. Now up to a million people are facing hunger, according to aid agencies.

Mrinal Gohain, of charity Action Aid, said: 'There were rats all over the fields. Farmers would go to harvest their crops and find that the entire field had been eaten overnight.'"

...and famine is happening. People have known about this for half a century, but it still struck and India was unprepared. I had blogged about it earlier, but this whole process is terrifying.

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