Phurpa Lhamo | Gasa

The de-suung water project at the kidu settlement area for Lunaps in Ramina, Gasa was inaugurated on September 29.

The project is the first step towards building winter homes for the Lunaps in the lower lands.

The kidu land area in Chubesa, located an hour drive away (on farm road) from Goenshari Punakha, was granted by His Majesty The King to 192 households in Lunana. Each household was awarded 13 decimals of land.

According to Gasa dzongkhag tshogdu thrizin, Thinley Wangdi, in winter most Lunaps had to reside in tents for about six months in Punakha.

Most highlanders who cannot afford the chopper service leave their elderlies in the highlands.

Thinley Wangdi said that the situation was difficult if someone died as seeking lams and conducting rimdros was difficult with routes closed.

By November the route to Lunana is closed due to snow. The snow lasts until June.

Most lunaps journey to the lower lands to secure rations for the coming year and to ensure pasture for horses.

Thirty-five de-suups completed the four-month project in three months. Officials from the works and human settlement ministry also guided the project.

Gasa dzongkhag engineer, Kezang Wangchuk, said that the water source, Thuluchu, is located about 2km away from the settlement area.

A water reservoir tank with the capacity of 50,000 litres was also constructed near the settlement area.

Kezang Wangchuk said that land development, drainage, internal road construction and approach road works was tendered out. These works are expected to complete in April next year.

Also, work to bring electricity to the resettlement area will also begin in fortnight’s time.

Kezang Wangchuk said that Bhutan Power Corporation would execute the work worth Nu 8.9 million, which is also funded by BPC.

Construction of traditional houses will be allowed after the two projects are completed in Chubesa.

School in Chubesa

With the land for home for the Lunaps ensured in the lower lands, the need for the school was also raised at the recent DT session held in Gasa.

Gasa dzongkhag’s chief education officer, Kinley, said that land allocation to construct a school in Chubesa was approved.

“After the settlement is ready, we plan to accommodate the students for two months in Chubesa.”

In Lunana, classes begin in April due to harsh winter.

Kinley said that this has led to students only receiving seven months of education and thus not covering the required syllabus.

He added that currently teachers were advised to teach prioritized curriculum to the students. “Students from Lunana when studying in other schools aren’t at par with other students. Generally speaking, the students aren’t comfortable.”

Lunana has 88 students and eight teachers today at the primary school and the two extended classrooms.

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk