Phurpa Lhamo | Gasa

Every year, Lunaps and their herds travel from their homes in Gasa to the lower lands of Punakha and Wangdue to avoid the harsh weather that often kills their domestic animals due to lack of fodder. 

They also migrate to bring home ration before the route to Lunana close due to heavy snowfall.

The migration process means renting apartments and grazing their horses on lands that belong to people in Punakha and Wangdue.

The de-suung water project in Chubesa Kidu settlement area in Punakha is a stepping-stone towards solving much of these issues.

According to Lunana Gup Kaka, His Majesty The King had granted land kidu to 192 households in Lunana to build their second homes. 

Chubesa Kidu settlement area is located around 2km away from Goenshari gewog in Punakha. The kidu land was granted to the highlanders in 2019. 

According to Kaka, renting apartments, financial issues, and the grazing horses in Punakha and Wangdue had been a challenge for many Lunaps. 

He added that with the water project initiated, road, electricity and construction of houses at the location would soon begin. “Until today, getting rental apartments when going to lower lands was a challenge for the Lunaps and while some can afford to pay some cannot. And the horses that graze and enter the fields of the people in Punakha and Wangdue has been a challenge.”

While road construction will begin in July, construction of the houses is expected to begin in October this year. 

The water project was inaugurated on June 27 this year. The work is expected to complete within four months. 

Gasa’s de-suup coordinator, Kinley Dorji, said that the water source located at Thuluzam was 3.3km away from the settlement area. Currently, 23 de-suups are at the work site.

Kinley Dorji said that the work would include constructing transmission lines and tanks until the settlement area. “Distribution point and lines work won’t be done as currently plotting works haven’t been done.”

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk