Retaining walls necessary along the Dangchu River in Bjimthangka

Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

Houses and institute buildings along the Dangchu River in Wangdue are exposed to risks of flooding.

If the river level keeps increasing, as it did on July 21, the eight households along the river are at immediate danger.

On July 21, the overflowing river, flooded the road along the river.

According to Dangchu Gup Pemba, with increasing water level in monsoon and with the changing river course due to the water force, the Bjimthangka Primary School and the Basic Health Unit (BHU) would also be at risks of flooding.

The school and the BHU are located a few metres away from the eight houses.

Letho, an owner of a house by the river, said that the distance between his house and the river had shortened over time. “We can at least run if water level increases during the day as we can monitor the river. But if it is during the night, it is really risky.”

A similar incident also occurred around three years ago, when the river reached and damaged the wall in front of Letho’s house.

Gup Pemba said that debris and stones were heaped in the middle of the river.

He added that these were cleared and the riverbed was dug deeper to make the river change its course. “The walls were also reconstructed.”

A report on the damage was also filed to the dzongkhag on July 27. The gewog has received Nu 1.3 million (M) in this fiscal year for disaster management activities.

Pemba said that three retaining walls were required along the river—two near the eight households and one near the school.  “We don’t think the budget would be enough to build the retaining walls. So we would seek additional fund from the dzongkhag.”

The gewog administration will also conduct a survey to find an estimate to construct retaining walls.

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