Visit: Even as there is not enough water for irrigation, Radhi saw a good paddy harvest this year. It was only natural therefore that when Prime Minister visited the gewog on Wednesday, people brought up the issue of unreliable irrigation water in the gewog.

Landslides frequently block the water source at Phajugonpa in summer, forcing farmers to depend on rain. Villagers asked the Prime Minister about the progress of irrigation project that was supposed to have come up already.

Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that the gewog needs a huge project to solve the issue of irrigation water shortage. The agriculture ministry, she said, is currently working with the Japanese government on the project.

Villagers also enquired about compensations for the farmers whose paddy and maize were affected by a hailstorm last year.

“Officials from the dzongkhag came to assess the damage. But nothing has happened after that,” a villager said.

Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that although this is a matter of concern for the government, there is a need to come up with a proper system of compensation.

“First, we need to have a policy in place to prevent ourselves from future complications. But we are working on that,” said Lyonpo Dorji Choden.

Among the issues discussed were also shortage of manpower in the villages.

Lyonchoen suggested the villagers to think over the idea of revising school break timing. He said children could help parents during summer break when farming activities are at the peak.

“Would it benefit you all if summer break is extended and the winter break shortened?” asked Lyonchoen. “You should think over this. Should it be necessary, take it up to Dzongkhag Tshogdu through gewog.”

At Shongphu, Prime Minister announced that a central school would be established in Rangjung soon. For that to happen, Rangjung Higher Secondary School and Rangjung Lower Secondary School will have to be merged.

Lyonchoen visited the two gewogs of Yangnyer and Khaling yesterday where he stressed on the importance of health, sanitation and education. He said parent should be equally involved to raise the quality of education and urged the farmers to use electric appliances in villages to reduce dependency on firewood.

Lyonchoen will also visit Thrimshing and Kangpar gewogs.

Tshering Wangdi,Trashigang