Bhutan takes proactive steps to prevent landslides

With the approaching monsoon season, officials in Bhutan’s Phuentshogling Dungkhag and Thromde region have been proactive in preventing landslides, according to Bhutan Live.

Over three thousand bamboo saplings were planted across approximately three acres beneath the revered Rinchending Monastery by officials. The ground beneath the Rinchending Monastery, also known as Kharbandi Goenpa, has been prone to landslides for a long time, and the situation remains perilous.

Previous landslides eroded the parking lot, caused fissures in the pathways, and even threatened the nearby Chorten. The monastery monks are alarmed by these events and fear that similar landslides will occur during the monsoon season, according to Bhutan Live.

A dungkhag is a sub-district of a dzongkhag (district) in Bhutan, and a thromde is the country’s second-level administrative division.
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the monks sought assistance from the appropriate authorities. Despite significant support, the installation of protective walls beneath the monastery proved insufficient in preventing landslides.

“This area is extremely hazardous. Last year, landslides claimed the lives of two households. With the monsoon’s arrival, any landslide will first affect the Chorten behind me, and then pose a direct threat to the monastery,” Lopen Namgay, the in-charge of the Rinchending Monastery, expressed grave worry about the potential dangers, saying, as per Bhutan Live.

As the monsoon season approaches, officials, volunteers, and local communities are collaborating to keep the beloved Rinchending Monastery and its surrounding area safe from landslides.

To address the persistent problem, approximately 200 people participated in the plantation program, which included the cultivation of various varieties of bamboo plants, including broom grasses. Bamboo, officials said, is an effective landslide prevention tool due to its rapid growth and large root systems.

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