Termite infestation prompts relocation of Rangaytung Primary School, Chhukha

Termites are known to be a nuisance for homeowners, especially in hot places owing to the damages they cause to structures built out of wood. In Rangaytung Primary School in Phuentshogling, several classrooms have become unusable as the wood-destroying insect chew up the main overhead beams, windows, and doors of the classrooms.

Recently, Rangaytung Primary School had to relocate students from a classroom after it became unsafe due to the destruction of the overhead beams by termites and ants.

The infestation has caused significant damage to the school’s structures. Officials from the Phuentshogling Dungkhag and Samphelling Gewog visited the school to assess the classrooms and the associated risks.

They found that three classrooms became completely unusable due to damages caused by the insect.

Although everything appears normal at a glance, the wooden structures are hollow inside. Signs of termite infestation include hollow-sounding wood, cracked or bubbling paint, and frass that look like small piles of sawdust.

Samphelling Gup Ram Kumar Rai said, “The principal informed me about the issue here and when I came here the situation was severe. Students have been moved to a nearby ECCD centre. I then informed the Dungkhag. Upon inspecting the structures, we found out that the main overhead beams have been destroyed. The immediate intervention is to now, change all these damaged overhead beams as instructed by the Dungpa.”

He said that infestations of wood-boring insects are common in the southern region. According to the Gup, structures in other offices in the same gewog are also experiencing similar issues. Therefore, he suggested that using alternative building materials instead of wood in southern areas would be beneficial.

Kinley Dem, Chhukha

Edited by Phub Gyem

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