The dzongkhag is behind in reducing infant and under-five mortality

MTR: Less than half of its 11th Plan activities have been completed in Wangduephodrang while it’s on track to achieve the remaining targets, according to reports from the dzongdag and the local government leaders yesterday during the mid term review (MTR).

The dzongkhag however is behind in achieving the targets of reducing infant and under-five mortality. It reported five infant and under five deaths each against the target of zero deaths. Delay in seeking health care was the main reason for the deaths, dzongdag Sonam Jigme presented. Few gewogs were also behind in livestock production such as egg and pork.

The dzongkhag was allocated a budget of Nu 1,047.147M for the 11th Plan. To date, it has received Nu 222.78M of which it has utilised Nu 206.755M.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay said he was concerned about the progress of the Wangdue dzong reconstruction project, and recommended the Punatsangchu Hydropower Project Authority to compensate the houses that were affected from the blasting based on the rural house insurance scheme.

Dzongdag Sonam Jigme said 95 percent of the households were connected with proper sanitation facilities and 25 schools have disaster management committee, of which 90 percent of schools meet the safety standards.

On enhancing rural household income and food sufficiency, he said that in terms of egg, pork and chicken production, the district has achieved more than the target. They have received 16 power tillers for 15 gewogs, he said and agriculture production for potatoes, chilli, paddy and wheat were well on track.

The dzongkhag’s major achievements were maintenance of six basic health units (BHU), constructed eight rural water supply schemes and renovated 32 rural water supply schemes. It also constructed 20 biogas plants, protected 42 water sources and maintained 52 irrigation schemes.

In less than two years since the 11th plan activities were implemented, the dzongkhag administration has also constructed an RNR centre, renovated two such centres, constructed 58.12 kms of farm road in 21 locations and maintained 80kms of farm road. About seven bridges have also been constructed.

Dzongdag Sonam Jigme said the district has also implemented 177 projects through the gewog development grant.

However, the administration requested the government to provide replacements for the surrendered pool vehicles and approval for staff capacity development budget.

Budget constraints have affected the gewog center from implementing the fencing, the technology parks and in appointing a caretaker, he said. The district also suggested incorporating eight new development activities in the plan, which include construction of a hostel for Singay Namgay Primary school, installing an air conditioner in the dzongkhag administration office, irrigation channel, fencing and water supply. It also requested to drop 21 activities, majority of which were in the education sector.

Lyonchoen recommended the education minister to look into the matter since a majority of the activities requested for reprioritisation were education related.

Bjena gup Khandu requested the government to consider leasing government lands occupied by rural villagers to build cowsheds.

Phobjikha gup Jamtsho said although the gewog has targeted to produce 10,000 dozens of egg in 2014, it managed to produce only 4,000 dozens. This, he said was due to religious sentiments and difficulty in post productivity period. He requested to drop egg production target for Phobjikha gewog.

In response to Thedtsho gup Phurpa Namgay’s request for a change in winter and summer school vacation, education minister, Mingbo Dukpa said that the ministry has conducted a study on this and that its possible to implement from next year.

Lyonchoen also recommended the agriculture ministry and the dzongkhag administration to support Nahi gewog’s plan to focus on school dropouts to scale up poultry farming.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue