Rice goes to waste in hungry district

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Five tons of rice given to a poor district in the northern province of Thanh Hoa in July have rotted and gone to waste as local authorities forgot to deliver them to poor families, VnExpress reported Monday.

Luong Quy Hoi, vice chairman of the mountainous district of Muong Lat, said the rice was part of 35 tons the provincial government gave the district in mid-July in case the year's first typhoon landed in the area and prevented relief aid from reaching the district.

In the event the rice was not needed for the typhoon, so 30 tons of it were distributed among poor families living along the border with China.

The rest was stored at what used to be the sports ground for district officals, not built for real storage. Therefore it could not maintain the rice in good conditon, Hoi said.

Thanh Hoa's poorest district has more than half of its households below the poverty line and the province usually has to help it with rice before the Lunar New Year and during the time between crops when the residents have used up rice from the previous crop but are yet to harvest the next.

Vuong Van Viet, vice chairman of the province, said they have launched an enquiry to affix responsibility for the waste.

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