YK Poudel

The people of Jasabi in Kurtoe, Lhuentse are trying to restore the agricultural land lost to flash flood last year back to cultivation.

In the early hours of September 30, 2022, a flash flood in Jasabi killed five and destroyed acres of agricultural land.

Jasabi was one of the few self-sufficient villages in the country.

Jasabi Tshokpa, Sonam Dorji, said that the flood destroyed more than 18 acres of agricultural land. “The people are still concerned about returning.”

Many village residents still do not have a permanent home.

Tshering Dendup, 43, goes to Jasabi every morning to work on farm restoration and returns in the evening to Tabi where he has temporarily put up.

Tabi is about one and a half hours’ walk away from Jasabi.

The dzongkhag administration has provided a JCB machine to develop land for cultivation in Jasabi.

Kencho Dema, a resident of Jasabi, is worried. The planting and growing season has arrived but she can do nothing. “And we are just in the process of reclaiming the fields that we lost to the flood.”

Kencho has been living in Tabi since the flood took away her fields. “I have no money to construct a house in Jasabi again.”

Kurtoe Gup, Karpola, said that the flash flood washed away 11 cattle, a power tiller, and damaged many acres of cultivated land. “Damage was assessed and verified by dzongkhag officials, and now the restoration project has begun.”

Karpola said that the gewog has proposed the reconstruction of houses for at least five households whose houses were destroyed during the incident.

A youth group, Gross International Nature (GIN), recently provided two greenhouses and a power tiller to the affected villagers of Jasabi.

Founder and project coordinator of GIN, Tshering Lhamo, said that the group would continue to support the community’s recovery and promote sustainable agricultural practices in the village.