Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Heavy windstorm and rain on May 5 destroyed more than 400 fruiting areca nut (doma) trees belonging to more than 50 households in Langchenphu gewog, Samdrupjongkhar.

The windstorm had also partially damaged the roof of a single storied traditional house in Dawathang chiwog.  No casualties were reported. The house is insured with the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd (RICBL).

Langchenphu gewog mangmi, Wang Gyeltshen, said that the gewog administration carried out an assessment and found that the windstorm had destroyed at least 20 areca nut trees from each household in all the five chiwogs.

The gewog administration has submitted the assessment report to the dzongkhag agriculture sector for further verification. The mangmi said that the windstorm had destroyed areca nuts worth about Nu 500,000. The trees were not insured.

He said that those affected have requested the government to buy the fruits (areca nut) as it would get spoilt if they cannot sell the fruits on time. However, he added that officials have informed that only good quality fruits would be bought by the government.

“Areca nuts are the main source of income for the people in the gewog,” the mangmi added. “We hope authorities concerned would look into the matters and compensate people for their losses.”

Gewog residents said that they are not able to sell the areca nuts since Jomotshangkha dungkhag remains cut off from the rest of the places in absence of internal road connection.

“The gewog administration have visited the site and carried out the assessments. But we have not received any compensation so far. All our hard work for the entire year is wasted,” said a resident.