Thursday, December 25th, 2014 - 7:35 PM
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Keeping Ebola at bay

Ebola virus disease is sweeping across regions.  Because of the horrific nature of the epidemic, health experts are calling it “the scariest of all diseases”, deadlier than HIV/AIDS.  Developing countries with weak health systems that lack human and infrastructural resources, therefore, are at greater risk of getting affected.  Bhutan is no exception.  We need to be vigilant. It could have been conveniently a different story, but Bhutan is no longer safely cocooned in its protective shell of isolation.  We have opened up.  By opening ourselves [... Read More]

A step in the right direction

The “Move for Health” walk yesterday in Thimphu generated Nu 2.4 million towards the Health Trust Fund. It is not a huge amount, if compared with the amount collected last year, and not even a fraction of what was voluntarily donated in 2002 after the first “Move for Health” led by the then health and education minister, Sangay Ngedup. But there were several things to take away from the walk, worth more than the money collected.  It is good to see the sense of voluntarism, [... Read More]

Bringing transparency to bear

Winter and summer are special seasons for the Bhutanese.  These are the times of the year when we make heavy, important decisions for our nation, for our people, for the kind of future that we would like to have for ourselves and for our children.  Our lawmakers are preparing for the winter session of Parliament.  Come November 12, we will have the 14th session of Parliament, six years after we chose to become a democracy. We are a fully democratic country today.  We should be [... Read More]

Filling the WFP void

As  the world food program (WFP) school-feeding program heads for the exit, the impact of its departure can be felt in schools, especially those in far-flung areas, where food security continues to be an issue. WFP’s withdrawal can be seen as an achievement, because it reflects the status of a country as growing in terms of gross domestic product, per-capita income and food security. But there is a grey area in between.  In this space, children still suffer from lack of food, and this is [... Read More]

Talking trash

With the Thimphu thromde receiving four compactor trucks from the government of Japan, waste collection in the capital city is expected to improve.  This will come as a relief to the capital’s residents, besides the thromde, which is facing an uphill task in its battle against garbage collection and management. Managing waste is a problem in this ever-expanding city.  In fact, the garbage strewn around is an eyesore in the capital.  Without timely and adequate facilities to collect waste, most garbage lands in nooks and [... Read More]

Spreading the success

The tourism sector has come a long way since Bhutan opened to tourism in 1974, with 287 visiting the country during the Coronation of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.  Arrivals had been on the increase ever since, with new records set almost every year. Last year, 116,209 tourists visited the country, generating a whopping USD 63.49 million in gross earnings.  The number is expected to increase this year with a special package for Thai tourists.  The three-day Thimphu tshechu alone received more than an estimated 5,000 [... Read More]

Need for policy or policing?

In the age of new media that we live in, we are experiencing exciting and revolutionary evolution of cultures.  The Internet has made the way we share information by far easier and more accessible to a wider audience.  Social media, websites and computer programmes that enable people to share information and to communicate using the Internet, is changing the way we think, work and share knowledge. Because we can now transfer data and communication in real time, we no longer have to wait for days, [... Read More]

Exit teacher

Every so often, we are rudely reminded of teacher shortage in our schools.  The problem is not new; we never had enough teachers.  But when increasing number of our teachers are leaving their job every year, it is indicative of something seriously rotten in the system. For the education ministry, the biggest ministry going by the number of institutions and people under it, the challenge is huge, of course.  And it has been regularly trying different measures to rectify matters.  There has been some success, [... Read More]

A reality check

The country’s dream of harnessing 10,000 megawatt (MW) of hydropower by 2020 seems to be fading.  In the next five years and three months, we will have to construct hydropower projects that will generate 8512MW if we are to meet the ambitious target. In other words, the 2,640MW Kuri-Gongri, the 2,560MW Sankosh and the 540MW Amochu projects should start in the immediate years, given that it is not easy to built mega projects, and delays are a part of building them.  In addition, there should [... Read More]

A good time to reflect

The season of festivals is come. This is the time of year that traditionally marks the end of toil and deprivation. This, the tenth month of the Gregorian calendar, is the time when we celebrate and welcome new beginning with hopes, prayers and good wishes. Perhaps, this holiday season is also time for us to look back on the journeys we made together as a nation through the many difficulties along the way.  However, a new mood of optimism seems to have awakened, and we [... Read More]

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