The past few days have been particularly difficult for us as the rains brought numerous floods and roadblocks cutting off communities and making travel unsafe. Monsoon has left us with so many lessons.
We are a small country with limited resources. But we are a society with warm and caring hearts. We care about what happens to our neighbours, what befalls our fellow citizens far and near. And we stand together in times of need.
Monsoon will continue and there could be heavier rains in the coming days. We can expect more damage to our homes, croplands and infrastructure, calling our strength to brave the challenges with deep sense of responsibility and urgency.
Where appreciation and prayers are due, we must give. His Majesty The King and Prime Minister have been visiting the communities affected by the monsoon and are engaged in evacuation and relief efforts. Armed forces personnel and DeSuups, officials of Road Safety and Transport Authority, dzongkhags and gewogs, not to mention DANTAK and the many volunteers, are making sure that our people are safe and the roadblocks are being cleared to keep the routes open for essential supplies.
If we act together with one mind and purpose, we can overcome the challenges however difficult they might appear because nothing ever stood with their grim air of permanence before the resolute mind of men. Over the past few days, that’s one of the lessons we have learnt. Together we can build the strongest of our levees where floods threaten to break the banks and lay sturdiest of our bridges over the yawning gaps on our hills.
These are difficult times, indeed. And mindless profiteering will not help. There have been reports of taxi drivers fleecing passengers left and right. Even as there is a notification from the office of consumer protection, businesses in Thimphu are charging exorbitant prices for the commodities. Worse, for the essential commodities!
Panicking doesn’t help either, which only gives rise to unnecessary fear. By late today, Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway will be cleared and essential supplies will begin flowing in. Twenty-four fuel tankers and four trucks carrying LPG cylinders left Manitar for Thimphu late evening yesterday. There is no reason to panic.
When the monsoon is at long last gone, we will quietly settle down to measure the impact of its wrath over the months. Infrastructure and homes will have to be rebuilt, which will require time and sizeable amount of effort and resources. There will be impact on the economy too. But nothing will measure against what we put in to pull our society together in challenging times as this.