Update: Around 15 of the 37 households affected by the February 25 windstorm in Kabjisa and Goenshari gewogs of Punakha were found to have not insured their houses, according to local leaders.

The windstorm has affected roofs of 20 houses in Kabjisa and 17 in Goenshari. However, damages were found to be minor, and in most cases only houses with temporary roofing affected.

This was as per the damage assessment conducted jointly by local government, dzongkhag and Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan (RICB) office in Punakha.

RICB manager in Punakha, Neten Sherab said only seven of the 20 houses in Kabjisa were found eligible for insurance claims. The team assessed only 11 houses, as some with minor damages have already reroofed the houses before the team arrived, and others were not even eligible for assessment.

While officials were still working on compensation claims, he said the highest insurance claim could be Nu 17,520 for a house in Kabjisa and the lowest less than Nu 1,000.

Goenshari gewog’s administrative officer said only around eight houses in four chiwogs of Goenshari have suffered damages. In most cases, damages were very minor that only few CGI sheets were blown away. Those with temporary roofing were not eligible for insurance claim. A few villagers didn’t want to claim insurance for the minor damages.

Goenshari gup, Kinley Dorji said some houses didn’t have permanent roofing since the gewog was hit by a windstorm last year. He said atleast 11 of the total affected households have not insured their houses. The uninsured houses belongs to those villagers who were staying in separate houses from their family but do not have a gung (registered household).

Kabjisa gewog’s mangmi Wangdi said in Tsetena village, around five houses were affected but none were eligible for insurance claim as the damages were minor. Some were not insured.

The Mangmi said that following the assessment, the gewog has emphasised the villagers about the importance and need to insure their houses and also to have permanent roofing.

However, he said some were too poor that they cannot afford to pay even the fourth category insurance worth Nu 100. “There were also those who were too careless or not bothered to insure their houses,” he said.

Dawa Gyelmo, Punakha