July 24, 2016
To combat disaster
Heavy downpour for last few days in the entire southern belt has wreaked havoc. It is very unfortunate that thousands of our people have to endure has such an awful experience. It is sad that old town of Sarpang which used to be a stop-over for the travellers had been washed away, displacing hundreds of residents.
It is even more disheartening to know that a Sherubtse student has fallen a pray to this dreadful disaster. There are reports coming from all across the country about roads being washed away, bridges collapsing, and rampant landslides. We at the mercy of the rain god and many more disaster are inevitable if rain does not subside.
If not in the good days, we the Bhutanese are always good at helping each other during the times of disasters. His Majesty the King has never failed to show his unwavering love to his people, especially during the time of calamities. The People’s King, we call him, and the reason, not unknown, is because he lives for the people.
Even before the local people of Sarpang would react, His Majesty arrived at the disaster site to offer rescue service. Well, there are no words to describe such a king who leaves the palace to risk his life with the people who are in danger.
Personnel from the armed forces, forestry, DeSuups and volunteers also deserves a grand salute for their service to the people who are in need. They have been helping in evacuating the people for last several days.
But how prepared are we to combat disasters? According to the RAA report, there had been series of lapses and shortcoming in implementation of the plans and policies. It seems National Disaster Management Authority, the nodal agency to look after disaster in the country has failed in many spheres.
Thus, to combat disasters, it is advisable that NDMA to conduct a holistic study on the preparedness on disaster management. There is also a need for effective inter-agency coordination and appropriate policies and plans. Capacity building in disaster management and possibilities of insuring assets have to be carried out too.