Green roofing a village

Buli in Zhemgang is a green village, literally. The roofs of its houses are painted green to blend in with the environment.

Visitors don’t usually notice the green roofs until climbing a hill that  overlooks the village. Except for a few roofs on houses that are under construction, all roofs share a uniform green colour.

The roofs were painted green in 2013 when the gewog initiated the “Green Buli” concept on a cost sharing basis.

Nangkor Gup Dorji Wangchuk said the Green Buli concept was initiated to make the village environment friendly. He said that with development all households switched from wooden shingles to CGI sheets.

Dorji Wangchuk said that besides the CGI sheets not being aesthetically pleasing, many attributed the disappearance of several bird species and animals to the new roofs. Theories that the bright reflections of the CGI roofs were keeping animals away.

“Having realised that, we initiated the Green Buli concept and painted all the roofs green,” he said.

Following the initiative, villagers said that birds and wild animals have returned to the forest around the village.

Gup Dorji Wangchuk also said that the heat generated by the CGI sheets during the day caused the destruction of maize stored between the ceiling and the roof. “The painting of the roofs has solved this problem too,” he said.

Buli Tshogpa Kinley Wangchuk said owners of newly constructed houses in the village must paint their roofs green within one year. A one year grace period is being provided since the paint does not stick well on new CGI sheets, he said.

Kinley Wangchuk explained that they realised this as the green paint on some roofs have started peeling off. He said following a consultation with the villagers, roofs will be repainted. “People will have to bear the full cost this time. The gewog will get the paint to the village bearing all the transportation expenses,” he said.

Nima Wangdi | Buli

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