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Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay and Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji hand over sheep to 15 households of Merak in Trashigang

Merak and Sakteng get sheep and power tillers

It was a new beginning for Aum Doren. The last time she reared cattle for her family was a decade ago and the thought of having her own flock of sheep again made her anxious.

The 56-year-old and a mother of six, said her family had several yaks a decade ago. “Severe windstorm and cloud suddenly engulfed the area where I was with my cattle,” she said. “I lost everything there.”

Women and children join their community to welcome the Prime minister and the agriculture minister

Since then, Doren and her husband have been surviving on the little they saved and by selling their traditional attires and handicrafts. “I was told that I would be receiving four sheep that Lyonchoen will provide today,” she said. “I can’t wait to take the sheep home and restart our lives again.”

Merak residents wait with parasols for the PM’s chopper to arrive

Prime Minster Tshering Tobgay and agriculture minister, Yeshey Dorji during a daylong visit to Merak gewog in Trashigang on May 6, gave 60 sheep to the community.

PM addresses the gathering

The sheep were donated to encourage sheep rearing in the community. Merak Gup Lama Rinchen said residents without cattle were selected as the beneficiaries. “It is expensive to buy sheep wool, which is used to weave our traditional attire,” he said. “Looking at the difficulties of the people without cattle, we decided that they will receive the sheep this time.”

Agriculture minister Yeshey Dorji hands over a power-tiller to a gewog

A total of 15 individuals received four sheep each. The gewog also received two power-tillers. However, Gup Lama Rinchen said that of the five chiwogs in the gewog, Khashateng and Khilliphoog chiwogs are more involved in farming than the rest.

Students queue for the event

“These two chiwogs grow maize abundantly and we decided to give them the power-tillers,” he said. “Since we don’t have much agriculture in Merak toed, Merak maed and Gengo chiwogs, the one power-tiller we have here is mostly used for transportation of stones and firewood.”

Agriculture minister Yeshey Dorji distributed sheep to residents

Merak Gewog in Trashigang has seen several developmental activities in the last five years. Considered to be one of the most remote communities in the country, the gewog is equipped with almost all the basic amenities today.

Families take home the sheep

Lyonchoen informed the community that of the total Nu 22.86 million (M) approved for the gewog in the last three years, Nu 22.799M was spent on developmental activities.

He said the government has done its part in providing all the necessary facilities to the community and it was now time for the community and its people to make optimal use of the facilities provided.

He assured the residents that the gewog centre road towards the community is also being looked into as requested by the people of the gewog.

Gup Lama Rinchen said the gewog has requested the government to delay the blacktopping of the road and instead focus on setting a proper base-course.

“There is a certain section of the road where the soil is not stable because of the continuous runoff water. We want that area to become stable before it is blacktopped,” he said. “Along with setting a proper base course we have also requested for an effective drainage system in the area.”

A similar programme was also held at Sakteng gewog. Two power-tillers and 60 sheep were also distributed to the residents of Sakteng.

Younten Tshedup | Merak

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