Disaster: Around 130 households in seven gewogs of Mongar lost at least 52 acres of maize, paddy, sweet buckwheat and barley to a windstorm on October 12.

Rain since July 13 also contributed to the damage.

As reported by the dzongkhag agriculture office, Drepong gewog suffered damage to its maize, barley and sweet buckwheat crops. The gewog saw 11 of its households lose more than five acres of their barley crop while 18 households lost at least 7.1 acres of sweet buckwheat. Twenty-one households lost 6.31 acres of maize.

The windstorm and rain affected most parts of Chali gewog. Thirty-six households lost 13.96 acres of maize. In Kengkhar gewog, at least nine households lost around two acres of maize while in Gondue gewog, 15 households lost more than 10 acres.

Likewise, in Tsamang gewog, at least five households lost more than an acre of paddy each. Balam gewog saw 13 households lose 4.6 acres of paddy.

In Chali gewog, at least two households lost 0.66 acres of sweet buckwheat.

However, a report for Thangrong gewog has not been completed and the damage assessment is under process, according to the gewog agriculture extension officer.

The Atola village chipeon, Phutala, said that the report was delayed given the re-election of the Atola chiwog tshogpa and because newly elected Local Government leaders were busy with formalities.

He said that at most, 12 households lost 40 langdo of maize. A langdo is the amount of land a pair of oxen can plough in a day.

One of the affected farmers, Pema Choden, 26, from Kacha village, lost about an acre of maize. She said that it took more than five months of hard work to cultivate her maize crops.

However, the rain and windstorm wiped out atleast 70 percent of her hard work in a week.

Another farmer, Sonam Choden, a mother of four, said that as her husband is a lay monk, she was usually the only one toiling in her fields. She added that besides the field work, she also had to guard her fields from monkeys, wild boars, deer, and porcupines during the nights.

“I was quite happy that the production would be good this year,” Sonam Choden said. She is now worried about how she will be able to feed her family and school-going children.

Similarly, Pema Wangdi, 60, a father of seven, lost about an acre of maize. He said he is also concerned about how he will be able to take care of his family.

With a farm road now connecting Jangdung village, villagers can earn an income through the sale of their crops.

Many affected villagers hope that the government will assist those affected.

Most of the affected farmers live between 10km to 15km away from gewog centre road and the farm road. They travel by foot to reach Atola village, Khumdari, and Kacha.

They have no other sources of income.

Tashi Phuntsho | Thangrong