Roads are becoming dangerous, not because of poor quality. Our roads become difficult because of the terrain. And the summer is upon us.
We are already getting news about accidents and lives lost. These are all preventable.
The monsoon is yet to come down heavily upon us; it has just about begun.
No amount of awareness and advocacy will work if we are careless with our travel plans.
The police and the roads department are posting situations and updates along the highways. We read and then forget.
The monsoon is a critically important season in Bhutan, not just because of the amount of rain we get, but also, more significantly, because of the destruction and problems it brings to the people.
Some travel plans can be put off easily in this difficult season. Why not? The choice is between life and deep misery that could result from recklessness.
Parents and teachers play a significant role. Now more than ever, our children are spread across the country in their pursuit of higher education. When they go home for a short vacation, the monsoon hit them hard in ways more than one.
Parents have the role to call their children and make them understand the dangers that the season brings. Teachers, above all, read the weather well ahead of time and help students plan their travel.
Rivers are swelling; we are constantly getting alert signals. When these things happen, we immediately think about the communities along the major river systems in the country.
Are they prepared? Are they safe?
Being in the heart of difficult terrain in the Himalayas, the monsoon brings us many challenges. We are all too familiar with earthquakes and floods that leave villages bare and poor, but they are not the only problems.
Climate change is a very unique phenomenon; it affects us in diverse ways. Its fickleness means that we can be caught off guard. Cliffs can come falling down and rivers can wash away communities all at once.
Facing such challenges ought not to be the government’s responsibility. The responsibility of securing our lives must arise from the awareness that we can do a lot more to care about our neighbours and ourselves.
Accidents and deaths can be prevented; it begins with our own selfish need to live.
So, as the monsoon hits us hard, we may do well to reflect on our carelessness. Drive safe, and always remind yourself that rashness will get us nowhere but into problems deep.