Concerns raised over school’s proximity to flood prone stream

Update: After more than six hours, army personnel, Desuups, Wangdue dzongkhag officials and other volunteers managed to construct a temporary bridge over the Henirongchhu at Nachuzampa, re-connecting Nahi Primary School.

The school was cut off and closed following a flash flood on the Henirongchhu on the night of September 17. The flood washed away a bailey bridge that connected the school. Two vegetable sheds near the bridge at Nachuzampa were also washed away.

Wangdue Dzongdag Sonam Jigme said that while they have constructed a temporary bridge, flood debris remains to be cleared. The dzongkhag has hired an excavator to clear the debris to make way for students till the bridge.

“When the debris near Nachuzampa is cleared, the excavator will be deployed at the two concrete bridges to clear debris and make a way for people,” he said.

Of the two bulls that were reported missing, one was washed away by the flood while the other was recovered after it got stuck in mud.

The flood left at least four chiwogs affected, however, except for Nabisa chiwog, the others have alternative routes. The chiwogs also already have temporary bridges constructed with logs.

Former local leaders of Nahi told this newspaper that since Nahi school is located just above the Rongchhu, which has a history of flooding, it should be relocated. They questioned why the school has not been relocated despite several requests. “We are wondering if the government is waiting for some bigger disaster than this,” said a local, who wished not be named.

Dzongkhag officials confirmed that the people of Nahi have been requesting a relocation of the school at almost every dzongkhag tshogdue. However, the education ministry says it is not feasible to reconstruct the school in a new location considering the number of students in the school, dzongkhag officials said.

The education ministry is planning to downgrade the school, as it has less than 100 students. It wants to send students studying in classes III and above to Gaselo and downgrade Nahi school to either a community school or an extended classroom.

Meanwhile, the Bhutan Power Corporation and Punatsangchhu project are also working to fix their drinking water source at Nahi that was washed away.

Several irrigation sources of Nahi, Rinchengang and Gaselo gewogs were also washed away by the flash flood.

Dawa Gyelmo | Nahi