Members of JICA, Bhutan Kidney Foundation, and Thimphu thromde planted 108 saplings near Sangaygang in Thimphu in an attempt to revive lost members of JICA Alumni Association of Bhutan (JAAB).

Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Koji Yamada, said that the purpose of initiating such a programme was to bring the people together. “These kinds of gathering will provide a forum for people to come together. It is also a good chance to reconnect human network of other social workers working for the development of the country.”

Phub Tshering, a volunteer, said that planting is a good initiative. “It would not only help the environment but also all sentient beings. It would provide shade and a house for birds.”

Officiating Chief of Thimphu thromde’s Environment Division, Yeshi Wangdi, said that usually when thromde supply saplings, other organisation or volunteer groups should ensure 80 percent survival of plants. “We assess these plants annually.”

Since 1960s, through JICA, about 1,600 Bhutanese have been to Japan for technical training programmes. Every year 70 to 80 Bhutanese are sent to Japan for trainings.

The Chief Representative said that technically JAAB should have 1,600 members. However, JAAB has only around 110 members today. “The reason for such a small number was because about a few years ago, the member list got lost.”

He added that in the coming years JAAB would organise similar initiatives.

About 50 volunteers participated in the plantation programme organised by JAAB with thromde’s support. The programme started at around 9:30 am and ended by 11:30 am yesterday.

Rinchen Zangmo