Villagers frustrated with defunct electric fencing

Agriculture: The remote village of Dhukti in Yalang gewog in Trashiyangtse had electric fencing installed as part of a trial a year ago.

But today, the solar-charged fence has stopped working and farmers and their families are forced to guard their fields overnight like before.

Sherub Dema, 46, said the electric fence worked for only a year. She said that the dzongkhag has agreed to connect the fence to a conventional electricity supply but she added that the village is still waiting for that to happen.

Farmers said that the fence kept out wild animals like wild boar when it worked, but that barking deer and porcupines continued to get in. “Porcupines dug holes from beneath the fence to avoid getting shocked,” a farmer said.

Former village tshogpa, Pema Wangchuk, 43, said they do not know why the electric fence stopped working.

Farmers said the solar panels often did not charge in the summer as the sky remained overcast.

Pema Choden, 32, said that the land in the village is fertile and many kinds of crops can be grown. However, the farmers are discouraged when their hard work is destroyed by the wild animals.

Another farmer, Pema Wangdi, 46, said the village is located far from the towns and therefore it is crucial for them to growt their own food. It takes at least five hours to reach the nearest road at the Yalang gewog centre.

The farmers are hoping that the fence will be connected to a normal power supply.

Nima Wangdi | Yalang

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