English | Dzongkha Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Villages continue to lose its people

Cheychey, Kanglung
Apr 25, 2014

Villages continue to lose its peopleThey continue to leave. Access to basic amenities isn’t proving enough to hold the people back in their villages. Maedtsho Gewog in Lhuentse Dzongkhag is one such example. More than half its population has moved to urban centres.

It was once a remote gewog. But now, every village in Maedtsho Gewog is connected by road. It has power supply, schools, Basic Health Unit and a community centre. But the number of empty houses continues to increase every year.

The gewog has a total population of 1,800 people. But only around 800 are living in the villages, currently. The rest, more than 1,000 people, including the students, have already left their ancestral home for urban areas.

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“Many of them leave after they are employed. When their parents die, the houses become empty,” said Maedtsho Gewog’s Gup, Tshering Samdrup.

Oongar and Shongme villages in Maedtsho Gewog have the maximum number of empty households.

Tshering Samdrup said it is becoming difficult to undertake activities in the community with many houses empty. He said those people who have left promise to do something for the community. “But they never come back.”

The only hope, the gup said, is the Land Act. Tshering Samdrup said they are keeping track of land that is not utilized. The Act says if the land is not cultivated for three years, the government will take over the land. “I hope that is a reason enough for them to return home.”

10 Comments for “Villages continue to lose its people”

  1. Tsajangchen

    How can we help to solve such empty houses and only old people working in the agriculture fields back at our rural villages??? Urban Towns are overcrowded with jobless and loitering youths.
    We are concerned of it, but we can’t help solve without tools in our hands.

  2. Kams

    Unemployment will rise if we do not curb rural urban migration. Why cant we encourage our youth to take up agriculture job? Our dependence on import will increase if we do not till our own field.

  3. tsatsipoktor

    if completed cl-X, XII and degree, gov. shud provide respectively 3000, 5000 and 8000 monthly so that they do not go in urban areas. Gewog should monitor this once they are back in village. They can use their knowledge and come up with many ideas.

  4. pemai_tshewang_tashi

    If houses are kept locked, govt. should impose yearly fine, say 3000-5000 and keep this as village saving for future maintenance works in the village, like water supply. What do you say on this

    • gons

      i would urge that government should progress balance development in other dzongkhags too.all ten ministry, commission and agency are in the capital. why not in rest of the dzongkhags.

  5. Rangjung Dorji

    In the fast changing pace of development in the country but very little or no earning in many of the villages discourages people to stay back and thus migrating to urban centres to earn some cash to pay such as house insurance, land taxes, life insurance, electricity bills etc. Just providing basic amenities like school, BHU, electricity, road and mobile connection is not good enough in current scenario. Government has to give serious thought to put such as Hydro Power project in many parts of the country to create the job opportunity for local village people, local people can sell their vegetables, diary products, rice etc. whereby can boost the local economy. If such opportunities exist, many people would stay back and make a earning and question remaining many houses empty shall be not there. The 100% rural – urban migration is inevitable and cannot stop.

  6. Rangjung Dorji

    To be honest, most of the development activities and Hydro Power Projects are heavily concentrated in the west part of the country. Which means more than 95% of the opportunity to work and earn money exist in the west Bhutan. Thus, it is obvious that people from East, central and south have no alternative then to come where opportunities are available and work to earn some cash. While Government through the concerned ministries are encouraging farmers to take up the agricultural products, there is no market to sell it. Whatever left over is being fed to animals. Farmers in those areas does the monotonous farming works year after year with barely adequate to eat and live.

  7. dokdo

    Let us be practical. No one can stop the migration. I once thought it can be but many developed countries have their cities crowded as they developed. Simple mathematics – what will the 10, 12, and graduates do in villages. They are not trained for farm but desk jobs. Their decision to leave villages are right.
    The only option is expand the town areas for their settlement. Govt to invest more in small and medium enterprises for their job- the German model which kept them strong through worse financial times. The unemployed are looking for a simple honest job to pay rent, eat, wear and lead a life. The sooner we understand this the better. Govt’s only option in Hydro is to ensure their returns from investment (they are not concerned about people). Why not invest that one chunk investment they spent in one hydro for small and medium enterprises (I see a big change here).
    Villages are still a hotspot for those living there. If I was there, I would pool the neighbours land together (by paying them some nominal rent) into few hundred acreas and start commercial farming on a large scale by initially borrowing to buy tractor, pay labourer, etc.
    When our youths are unemployed, I see a big waste of non-exhausting energy and potential go down the drain. Govt should tap this. This can be a source of tax for the govt. If people are employed and wealthy, it is an asset that the country can always rely on – for instance, in times of war wealth and energy is always needed. If the country care its people, the people will care in return.

  8. Sangye Wangdi

    It is natural that every human being including animal will look for greener pastures. The development budgets allotted are not based on size of population and hence major development took place in Thimphu, Paro and Phuntsholing only. One crucial measure by the govt. is to allot budget according to the size of population.

  9. dorji

    rural urban migration is sign of development or sign of progress that out country has made for last few decades under the wise guidance of monarchs….. and now democratically elected government.

    we can’t stop the rural urban migration but we can mitigate it through balance economic development…. so that people of the country dont migrate in capital city…
    coming to the educated people not willing to settle in the rurals….. working in the field is very difficult, where using modern technologies is restricted by the geographical terrains….. agricultural field is located at steep slope and after toils you get few kgs of yields…..

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