Pulling together in challenging times

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.

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    I remember someone telling me this thought provoking line…”any governance can be made n centralised effort, but wars usually remain decentralised challenges or risks”. And to be at war against a nature’s wrath like a bad monsoon or floods like these is always a difficult time.

    Only yesterday, we discussed the need of a centralised information system in a difficult situation like this. But the most effective risk and disaster management efforts usually happen in the most decentralised way. This is where people gets exposed to the disasters first well before the authorities can come into action. That’s also where preparedness matters the most and that’s one long time planning and preparing process. Only the coordination process during a disaster situation can be hugely benefitted from a centralised informal flow in place. But we need people on ground ready and prepared to fight a disaster.

    In the ‘Kuensel Poll’ section, we are still trying to figure out how prepared we are if a major earthquake hits us and here is a bad monsoon hitting us hard. Unpredictability of the damages that can be caused remain the major characteristics of any natural disaster. And when it strikes us, it’s all about dealing with the ground realities on the spot to meet the challenges overcoming the difficulties.

    But above average rainfalls and floods are usually very much predictable. Only the changes in the causes for a change in the monsoon pattern remain a matter of detailed study for an understanding, but not necessarily for any solution.

    It’s good to hear that people have come together to fight the challenges due to the monsoon related disasters. A bridge washed away is an issue washed off once and forever. And as it’s mentioned, we all move on when the sun is back shining bright once again. For the people, it’s the right time to thank the PM and HM the King for their great contributions towards the disaster management solutions.

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