Momauk residents struggle with rice harvest under siege… 

Momauk residents struggle with rice harvest under siege from aerial bombardment

Around 600 Military Council soldiers are stationed in the foothill villages of Lone Jar Bum Mountain in Momauk Township, Kachin State, subject local farmers to daily shelling every day, making life almost impossible for local farmers to look after their paddy fields.

A resident of Momauk Khanam neighbourhood commented “ The rice paddies cultivated by the locals from villages such as Lone Jar, Wa Wan and Naung Pauk are all close to the military-occupied foothills of Lone Jar Bum. Currently about 600 Military Council soldiers have been deployed in the area. In addition, the farm owners are having trouble harvesting paddies due to random artillery fire every day”

He added “Those fields are next to their artillery firing range. So no one dares to risk their lives to go there. Very few people want to work there, even if they offer a lot of money. The farm owners are in a deep dilemma as they cannot afford for their fields to be left unharvested. Previously, in Momauk, the daily wage to harvest rice was about 5000 kyats, but now it has increased to about 8000 kyats a day.

Even with the increase in wages, there is a shortage of workers to harvest the rice, so locals started to be worried that about 800 acres of farmland in the region will not be harvested.

The Military Council had launched an offensive around Lone Jar Bum since October 22.

A woman was killed in a crop field near Mankon Village after being hit by an artillery shell of the Military Council. And a man was injured when an artillery round exploded in front of Khanam neighborhood High School.

Similarly, a man and a woman were seriously injured when an artillery round hit a house in Ward No. 3 in Momauk Khanam neighbourhood on October 29.

On October 31, an artillery shell fell and exploded in a kindergarten campus in Khanam neighbourhood, damaging the school buildings.

Date: 09-Nov-2022