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Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

Residents of Ruecheykha in Jala, Wangduephodrang, are still recovering from the flash flood that occurred last October.

Three households have requested for settlement, saying they are scared another flashflood might occur this monsoon.

Other villagers have requested the dzongkhag and gewog to remove the debris the flashflood left on the road.

Villagers still remember how the irrigation water in the village turned into a flash flood, damaging fields belonging to 11 households when paddy was ready for harvest.  Ruecheykha village has 20 households.

Following the flashflood, power lines were disrupted and water sources damaged.

A farmer, Gyeltshen, said the three households that requested resettlement are close to the stream and it posed a risk to the residents.

Jala tshogpa, Kado, said clearing works were done near four houses in Ruecheykha after the flash flood. “There was a big boulder near one house.”

The flashflood also damaged the farm road connecting the village and Jala. “Before the mudslide ran through the village, it also damaged over five road turnings.”

Kado said the road was cleared with gewog budget.

However, villagers say debris above the turnings pose a risk for commuters, especially with monsoon approaching.

A villager from Jala, Damchoe Dorji, said that, during the flash flood in October, he was stuck in the village for two weeks.

He stays in Bajo but had gone to his village to treat his wife. “There were others who were also stuck here. We didn’t have issue with ration but it was risky for those who needed medical assistance”

Damchoe Dorji said that, although the roads were cleared today, it still posed a risk to commuters. “Debris above the road might come down during heavy rainfall. We worry that the road will be further blocked by the flash flood.”

Chiwog tshogpa Kado said he requested the dzongkhag disaster management team to pave a new 1km road stretch to avoid the path along the flashflood area to avoid more damage to the existing road. “We’ve also informed about the risks there is to the three households.”

While the gewog and dzongkhag together cleared the blocked routes and debris near the households, villagers are yet to receive crop compensation.

Gyeltshen said villagers have to prepare for the paddy season but the fields are damaged. “We’d be grateful if it’s cleared.”

Ruebisa gup Karma Wangdi said they conducted inspection for crop damage and filed a report to the Department of Disaster Management. “We clear the road whenever necessary.”

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