21 May 2015 2:35 PM AEST: The National Human Rights Commission of Nepal has advised earthquake survivors not to eat the rice distributed by the World Food Programme (WFP) until the test results on the aid provided by the UN body becomes available.
A team of the Commission visited Kavrepalanchok district’s Mahadevsthan and Chandenimandan Village Development Committees in response to a spate of reportage on the inedible quality of the rice grains distributed by the WFP.
Mohna Ansari and Govina Sharma Paudyal from the Commission visited the areas to consult with the victims of the earthquakes who are the targeted beneficiaries of the WFP rice. The two members are said to have collected samples of the controversial grains, Nagarik Dainik reported today.
The southasia.com.au emailed the WFP on 18 May requesting to disclose the origin of the controversial supplies and to comment on the media reports about the ‘blackened’ rice but the email went unanswered.
“We have made observations at many places, we also went to the godowns, we also consulted with the locals. The organisation has stopped the distribution of the rice after the reportage in the media, we have brought samples for test, we have requested not to use the rice until the reports of the test are available,” Nagarik quoted Ansari.
The WFP distributes the aid through the Kavre Red Cross at the rate of 10 kilograms per family. Apparently a total of 338 quintals of rice was distributed through the local Red Cross sub-branches.
Earthquake survivors of Jwanetaar village had first complained to the WFP and Red Cross after they found the rice to be completely blackened and spoiled.
On the other hand, there were no important details on the bags of the rice such as the batch number, producer and the date of manufacture.
Advocate Hari Sharan Dahal, an executive member of the Consumer Rights Protection Forum, expressed his disbelief at the quality of the grains, the report said, “The rice distributed is not fit for even cattle’. He claimed that the wellbeing of the consumers has been compromised by distributing the rice without any quality checks.
Similar accusations were made about WFP rice distributed in Nuwakot district, another earthquake rattled area.