For the people living by the banks of Sunkosh (Punatsangchhu) river in Lhamoizingkha, Dagana, a protection wall along the river is a priority.

Residents say the past two years have been peaceful due to the last protection work.

The last protection work at Jamuna stream point where Sunkosh meets, a galvanised iron wire mesh system with spurs was installed. The spurs divert the river current to its course and leave behind the sedimentation on the wall.

Daragaon, the village most affected and under threat, was saved by that protection work.

However, residents say there is another stream known as Pul Kholchi that connects to Sunkosh above Jamuna at Hawajori, which needs protection.

A Hawajori resident, Lachi Maya Pradhan, said although the river did not erode her private land in recent years, she had once lost lands to erosion.

The 4.80 acres land she once had was minimised to 3.40 acres.

She also said government officials had visited the Pul Kholchi site to assess the threat. “There should be protection wall.”

A resident of Daragaon, Mon Bahadur Tamang, said the iron wire of spurs and the walls along the previous protection would give in the long run. “There is a need for concrete protection wall.”

He had lost about 90 decimals of land before the protection came into place. “I am told I would get a land replacement.”

Kuendrelthang is another village in Lhamoizingkha where villagers are worried that Sunkosh would erode private lands.

A villager, Lobzang Dema, said she lost about 66 decimals. “My family knew only in 2013 when a survey team had come to survey lands.”

She said they are still waiting for the replacement.

Lobzang Dema said private lands in Kuendrelthang would be washed away if proper protection walls are not constructed.

Another resident, Phurba Gyeltshen, said a gabion wall constructed before 2013 had diverted the river for some time.

“However, half of that wall is washed away,” he said, adding that a new protection measure should be placed now.

Phurba Gyeltshen said he had lost 1.80 acres of land to Sunkosh river. “The land has been replaced.”

Meanwhile, an engineer from Lhamoizingkha drungkhag said proposals to protect the embankment and private lands at Hawajori and Kuendrelthang were made.

He said officials from flood engineering and mitigation division of works and human settlement ministry had visited the sites and surveyed.

About the galvanised iron mesh wire and spurs that have protected Daragaon, the engineer said it was 100 percent successful project.

“There is zero disturbance,” he said.

He also explained that the spurs are made to divert current water and there were no issues even if they were washed away. The sediments would remain on the wall and further erosion would not occur.

Rajesh Rai | Lhamoizingkha