… Officials and local leaders are assessing the damage 

Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

A rainstorm on the night of  October 24 blew off roofs of 25 houses and damaged acres of crops in Mongar leaving most of the farmers in shock.

A farmer from Pangjakpa village in Chhali, who lost more than an acre of maize at its tender stage, said it’s a total loss and all his hard work for the year went in vain.

Tshering Wangchuk said maize is mainly grown to produce tengma (flattened maize), which is the main source of cash income.  “I usually earn about Nu 100,000 from an acre of maize field, it is a huge loss this time but what to do? It is a natural disaster and nothing is in our hands,” he said.

The rainstorm also damaged two langdo (one langdo is a plot that a pair of oxen could plough in a day) of paddy fields. He expects some of it to survive. 

Another farmer Lhamo said that she lost one and a half acres of maize. She was expecting a better yield this time but all her hopes were shattered. “It’s the main source of income besides vegetables.”

Although gewog agriculture extension officials are assessing the extent of the damage, sources said maize fields belonging to more than 200 households in lower and middle Chhali were affected.

People of Chhali usually grow maize twice mainly to produce tengma to be sold at the market sheds at Gangola and Mongar.

Farmers of Chhali also have lost acres of their paddy to the rainstorm.

Ugyenla from lower Chhali has lost about two langdos of paddy. He said he had been guarding all this time against wild animals only to lose them to natural calamity. “We can’t blame anyone. Government can’t do everything. I haven’t reported the case either.”

Similarly, in Saling gewog where maize is grown mainly for tengma, maize fields belonging to four households were also affected.

Farmers of Drepong gewog also reported the loss of other winter crops like buckwheat and barley.

In Jurmey gewog, acres of maize fields of over 200 households in four chiwogs were damaged although the gravity of the damage is being assessed. Jurmey Gup Rinchen Norbu said the gewog is likely to have more than 200 households affected. “But we are yet to assess to confirm.”

The gewog also reported the highest number of damage to homes with the roofs of 12 houses blown off. Of that, five reportedly suffered major damage followed by Banjar chiwog in Tsamang gewog with six houses with partial damage.

In Drepong gewog, four houses lost part of their roofs including one with total damage. In Tsakaling gewog, the gewog RNR office roof was totally blown away while the roof of the livestock office and an individual house were partially damaged.

Similarly, a house in Saling gewog was reportedly damaged.

The dzongkhag is assessing the damage to homes together with the Royal Bhutan Insurance Corporation Limited officials.