Weathering poverty

Well it didn’t snow last night. And it didn’t rain enough. But it’s still overcast. And I’m hopeful.

Part of my excitement yesterday was because I was sure it would snow in my village, which, at about 2800 m, is higher than Thimphu. But it didn’t snow there either. The light drizzle was barely enough to “settle the dust” one uncle told me. He and his neighbours can’t begin to prepare their fields till enough water seeps into the parched earth.

Throughout our country, most of our farmers are completely dependent on rain water. This makes farming unpredictable and unproductive. And breeds unseen poverty in our villages.

Rhythm of the falling rain

It’s drizzling outside. I hope it rains. In fact I hope it snows. We need the precipitation.

Our rivers have dwindled. And can barely turn the hydropower turbines that generate electricity – and revenue – for our country.

But, more importantly, our farmers have not been able to cultivate their land. Without water, their land is parched and cannot be tilled; cannot be prepared to plant potatoes. If potatoes are not planted in time, the potato yield will be bad. And potatoes are the only source of money for many of our farmers.

So I’m thoroughly enjoying the soft, percussive sound of the rain on my roof. But I hope it stops, as the rain turns to snow.