Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 - 1:46 PM
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13,732 rural households face drinking water problem

The status on rural water supply was shared as Bhutan observed the World Water Day

Water: About 13,732 rural households across the country are facing drinking water problem, according to a rural water supply inventory, 2014 that the public health and engineering division (PHED) conducted.

Chief engineer Rinchen Wangdi presented the status of drinking water in the country, as Bhutan observed the World Water Day themed, “Water and Sustainable Development” at the Walakha nunnery shedra in Punakha, yesterday.  As part of the event, health officials also presented three water filters to the shedra.

While the water shortage problem is not severe in Bhutan, as compared to other countries, he said, the issue still deserved attention.


Forest fire not yet contained

Forest fire: The forest fire in Jarigang, Athang gewog that has been blazing since March 15 is still not contained, and has now spread to Ula village in Rubesa gewog.

Athang gup Khandu Dorji said the fire has continued to rage for a week now and last week’s rain didn’t help contain the fire.

Locals, volunteers, foresters, PHPA fire fighters, army personnel and police are still at the site containing the fire.

The other fire that started in Baychutop in Daga gewog was contained on March 21. However, another forest fire started near Takshachu in Daga gewog, which is about 19kms from Baychutop, since March 21 night. The fire has spread into the forest of Tsirang near Taksha.


Royal tour of southern dzongkhags

unnamedRoyal tour: Their Majesties with officials and the mandir construction team at the Shivalaya Mandir in Samtse.

Visit: His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen, who are on a royal tour of the southern dzongkhags visited the Shivalaya Mandir, the Samtse College of Education (SCE), and Samtse Lower Secondary School during Their Majesties’ visit to Samtse recently.

His Majesty the King granted audiences to the students and teachers at the school, and the students and lecturers of SCE.

His Majesty also inspected the construction of the Shivalaya mandir (temple). His Majesty commanded the construction of the mandir after the Royal wedding as a gift to the community. The mandir, which has been constructed out of intricately carved sandstone, and features marble statues of Lord Shiva and other deities, was built around a sacred site where a small mandir previously stood. It will be completed this year, coinciding with the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

During the Royal Tour to the southern dzongkhags, Their Majesties earlier travelled to Phuentsholing and Gelephu.


To clean the commercial sector of corruption

Launch of Consumer Protection Rules and Regulations at clock tower square yesterday

MoEA: Customers can now lodge a complaint, if they feel shopkeepers have overcharged them for a fake product.

To protect consumers from unfair trade practices and create awareness on consumer protection, the economic affairs ministry yesterday launched the Consumer Protection Rules and Regulations at the clock tower square in Thimphu.

The rules and regulations include rights and responsibilities of consumers, duties of service provider, manufacturer and suppliers, misleading, false representation and unfair trade practices, and administrative penalties, among others.

Economic affairs minister, Norbu Wangchuk, said the actors in growing economy are the business people and consumers. “We must ensure that the relationship that ensues out of the transaction between the consumers and the businesses are healthy, positive and good for themselves as well as the economy,” lyonpo said. “Good relationship between the consumers and businesses mean safe products and services, fair prices and correct information about the products and services.”


Helping consumers protect themselves

If the crowd gathered at the Clock Tower Square in the capital was anything to go by, there is an uphill task for the office of consumer protection to ensure that consumers are fairly treated.

The awareness campaign on consumer rights, trading activities and protecting consumers from unfair trade practices didn’t draw a huge crowd, even if it was in the business district.  The few attendees came to watch the comedians and listen to the songs.  Hopefully, they got the message.

But the event organised was one of the most important awareness campaigns that could affect all, sellers and buyers both.  It has been decades since people have complained about unfair trade practices – starting from not following the maximum retail price, to selling expired goods, and not receiving receipts for goods purchased.


Appraising central schools

Some view the new experiment with trepidation, but most are optimistic

 Education: Notwithstanding the challenges, educationists in central Bhutan are optimistic that the central schools will redeem the deteriorating quality of education in schools.

Tsangkha central school (TCS) Principal, Rabilal Sharma said central schools will deliver better quality education than the existing extended classrooms and multi-grade system.

“Currently, children are taught by one or two teachers, sometimes even by untrained community teachers, in extended classrooms, while central schools will be equipped with adequate teachers supported by nurse and caregivers,” Rabilal Sharma said.


Picture story

More than 260 participants took part in the painting competition in two categories organised yesterday by the Nehru-Wangchuck Culture Center, Thimphu


Finding common ground with the gewogs

IMG_5654SJI officials with the gewog officials

A two-day workshop was held to coordinate, align and strengthen plan activities

 SJI: The Samdrupjongkhar Initiative (SJI) conducted a two-day  Samdrupjongkhar district development strategy workshop for 11 gewog officials, so that they are better able to coordinate, align and strengthen plan activities.

The participants discussed specific needs and priorities, saying there was a need for the gewogs to collaborate with SJI.

Tshewang Dhendup, SJI’s executive director, said collaboration between SJI and the gewogs could be a fruitful partnership.

“The SJI would like to learn from the local government’s experience of implementing projects at the gewog level. We’d also like to explore other areas of collaboration,” Tshewang Dhendup said.

Gups at the workshop said knowledge-sharing among gewogs on agriculture and waste management is lacking.  The participants agreed to allocate Nu 50,000 from the gewog development grant for the improvement of agriculture activities in the gewogs.  The decision was reached after consultations with villagers during the gewog tshogde.


The tshemzo maestro

DSC_1491Guests inspects the textiles on display

Pema Dorji has won, five years on the trot, the annual national design competition in embroidery 

Handicraft: Pema Dorji, 44, from Wangduephodrang, is a prolific embroiderer.  His skills were put to the test when he entered the annual national design competition four years ago.  Since then, he has been winning the prize in embroidery (tshemzo) category.

He proved that he was still the best in tshemzo when he won, for the fifth time in succession, a cash prize of Nu 50,000 in the embroidery category during the 13th national design competition yesterday.

Pema Dorji won the award for the six-foot kuthang of the 21 manifestations of Tara, which was intricately stitched in brocade and silk.

It took more than a year and a half for Pema Dorji to complete the kuthang.  He quoted Nu 300,000 for the kuthang.


Kanglung milk cooperative fighting to survive

The association has been plagued in the main by logistic and management issues

 Diary: Unlike the other milk cooperatives in Trashigang, the Kanglung dairy cooperative has curdled and is struggling to survive.

For three months now, the cooperative has stopped collecting milk from its members, but to keep the cooperative afloat, members are paying Nu 45 a day for the three bottles of milk they were supposed to contribute to the cooperative.

Collecting milk from the members has become a challenge for the cooperative.  Without a collection vehicle, the problem is largely attributed to the 39 members scattered across five villages.

For instance, Ritshangdung is located about 6km away from the collection point, while Yonphula is almost 10km away.