Rebuilding homes and lives after a disaster

His Majesty’s presence during disasters has always been a source of hope and relief torebuild homes and lives.

In the recent times Bhutan has witnessed atleast six major disasters since 2009. This includes earthquakes, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs), floods or flash floods, landslides, forest fires and structural fires and windstorms.

People all across the country are grateful to His Majesty for his personal concern in ensuring that people can recover and rebuild their lives.

In the summer of 2009, Cyclone Aila caused rampant floods in many parts of the country and claimed 13 lives besides causing damages of Nu. 722 million.

47 years-old Dema, a farmer from Punakha who was affected by the flood,said His Majesty’s support helped her rebuild her life. “His Majesty’s compensation grants on crops, livestock along with reconstruction activities helped me continue my life,” Dema said.

Few months later on 2009,a 6.3 magnitude earthquake with its epicentre in Narang, Mongar, hit Bhutan.

12 people died in the quake and 4,950 rural homes, 45 BHUs, 117 schools, 26 Gup offices, 8 dzongs, 29 RNR offices, 539 Chortens and 281 Lhakhangs in 13 dzongkhags suffered varying degrees of damages. The damages were estimated at Nu. 2501 million.

The former Narang Gup, Sonam Gyamtsho, said that His Majesty came to be with the people, console them and granted kidu including clothes, food, timber etc.

“His Majesty granted kidu to all 225 affected households and people were able recover so quickly,” Sonam Gyamtsho said.

This year’s prolonged monsoon cut off many parts of the southern Bhutan.Samtse, Chhukha, Tsirang and Sarpang were hit the hardest.

Phuntsholing Thrompon Utter Kuma Rai shared that His Majesty carried out relief measures by relocating the affected people to safer places and arranging for temporary camps with proper provisions for food, water and sanitation.

“His Majesty took trouble in travelling and meeting with the people affected,” he said. “His Majesty was worried about sanitation and hygiene in the flood affected areas and a special focus was given to ensure clean and safe drinking water, access to health care, treating the injured and controlling t outbreak of any epidemics.”

One of the affected families of by the Wamrong fire incident Yenten Dorji said his family became homeless overnight.

Yenten Dorji said that through His Majesty’s support and kidu, his family was able to start living again.“I am a recipient of such generous kidu and I pray for His Majesty’s long life,” he said.

The former Director of DDM, Namgay Wangchuk, recounted the incident and said His Majesty walked through disaster struck areas comforting people and providing support.

“Our King has always been present in disaster-struck areas to reassure and give hope to people,” he said.

On the command of His Majesty all homes and buildings razed by the fire were rebuilt with proper planning within short span of time.

On His Majesty’s command he said that DDM has been aggressively pursuing the program especially targeting the communities of those affected earlier. They have been also been involving different sections of the society through trainings, meetings, workshops to be part of the relief effort.

“Extensive Public Education, Advocacy and campaigns on hazards, risks, vulnerabilities have been carried out,” said Namgay Wangchuk.

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