Tenzin Wangchuk, Thimphu
A continues heavy downpour and strong windstorm on Tuesday wreaked havoc in two gewogs of Monggar.
It has been reported that over 152 acres of maize fields had been destroyed by the strong windstorm. In total, over 250 households of the two gewogs have been badly affected by this calamity.
“My year long hard-work has gone in vain. Since maize is only the crop that grows in our lands, I have planted it on my entire 1.5 acres. And at one gush of strong wind, everything turned into a dust. I am badly affected and I don’t know what to do,” said a farmer of Kharnang village under Chaskhar gewog, Pema Dorji.
Another farmer, Tashi, said that maize is the only source of income for the people of the entire gewog. “Unlike in other places, we don’t cultivate paddy. We grow maize and sell it to sustain our lives,” he said.
“This year we have received unprecedented amount of heavy rainfall and windstorm. Now it is the windstorm that devastated us completely,” said Tashi.
According to the Mangmi of Ngatsang gewog, Ugyen Wangdi, this is the second major windstorm of the year that caused havoc in their gewog.
“The early report with us states that over 18 acres of maize have been completely destroyed but I am sure that the figure will shoot up as and when we compile the final report. At the moment, we are visiting from village to village to access the damage of the calamity,” said the Mangmi.
He also mentioned that although they have been enduring such fury of the nature every year, they are hit worst this year. “By far, the scale of damage is more this year,” he added.
The Chaskhar gup, Pema Dorji, said that in his gewog the windstorm have affected over 203 households. “We have the report that states that at least 134 acres of maize plants had been destroyed and the poor farmers are left devastated,” he said.
He also agreed that the people of his gewog have never endured such a major destruction of crops by the natural calamity in the past.
“Right before the onset of the harvest season, they had to face this harsh reality. I don’t know how soon the farmers will recover from this trauma because I have seen most of them emotionally disturbed,” said the gup.
Meanwhile, the gewog officials are accessing the damage in details. Last year, the government had provided the people with maize seeds and the fertilizer as compensation.