Preparing for disasters

Fire season is just around the corner. There is a need to prep up for the major disasters that threatens to visit us come.

An eight-year-old boy died in Samdrupjongkhar on Monday when fire razed a semi-permanent house. 

In Bhutan, fires are always blamed on short circuit.

If short circuit is the main source of problem, by now we ought to have been able to address our shortcomings.

Digging into Kuensel’s archive we find that this has been the problem since late 1980s. 

In a way, the dangers were already forewarned. There has been not a lightest development since then, however. This shoes how much we care about such disasters.

In fact, our squatter settlements are increasing which is indicative of our failure in plan development. It is in such areas where dangers of fire are ever present.

Faulty wiring is one. No one seems to care how the electric lines are carried from one place to the other. And it is in these areas where safety measures are desperately lacking.

And then we have our forests to take care of. They will now begin to burn one after another, helplessly. We never get to know what causes forest fires. 

There are investigators who either tells us it is all due to natural causes or that investigations are underway.

We have even—often—heard investigators say that they have no clairvoyance and will not be bothered by questions from the people. 

Such dereliction of duty should be punishable by law. Sadly this does not happen in our society. Holding someone accountable for his or her actions is becoming a rarity by the day.

Because our system does not hold them accountable, such preventable disasters continue to happen. There is more to come so.

Simple things can save a lot of things indeed.  Personal initiatives are so critically important. Being aware and making sure how an individual’s actions can impact the other or the whole community is the key, particularly in the growing shanty settlements of the growing towns and cities.

Going the way plans are shaping our society up, such dangers to the people could only grow. For the politicians, these aren’t even a problem. For the poor electorates, however, there is no help coming from anywhere.

Hazard warnings and advocacy should go beyond TV programmes.

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