Haa

Introduction

Located in eastern Bhutan, the Haa District borders the districts of Samste, Paro, and Chukha to its southwest, northeast, and southeast, respectively. On its western border, Haa borders China’s disputed region, Tibet. According to the latest census conducted by government officials, the total population of Haa is 12,745. 2,495 individuals live in urban areas, specifically the capital of Haa, while the remaining population lives in rural areas.

Like all districts of Bhutan, Haa is divided into several gewogs, or administrative blocks. Haa has a total of six gewogs: Bjee (Pop. 2,901), Eusu (Pop. 2,575), Katsho (Pop. 1,115), Samar (Pop. 1,750), Sombaykha (Pop. 793), and Gakiling (Pop. 1,116).

Demographics

The ratio is 6,848 males to 5,897 females.

Economy

Each gewog in the Haa District has a unique economy, although there are some similarities. In Bjee, many residents of the block are yak herders and work with other types of livestock. As a result, the residents of Bjee are likely to not be wealthier and more financially stable than the other gewogs. Additionally, the majority of Bjee’s population is nomadic.

Like Bjee’s economy, Kashto’s economy is heavily dependent on livestock, specifically yak and cattle.  Alongside livestock, agriculture is an important source of income, with produce such as apples, potatoes, barley, buckwheat, and wheat being some of the more profitable items.  

Little information is provided on the gewogs of Gakiling and Sombaykha, although it does appear that both are similar to the previous two provinces in that agriculture, particularly cardamom and livestock, are the two main sources of income.The two remaining gewogs of Eusu and Samar have little information provided on them as well, although it can be assumed that they share the same economic background as fellow gewogs in the Haa District.

Politics

Due to Bhutan's size in comparison to its western neighbor China, India has become an important partner to Bhutan. In the past, when China allegedly intruded on Bhutanese territory - specifically the Haa District- India has ensured the protection of Bhutanese interests and sovereignty. Recently, the Indian government disputed China’s plans to build a road towards the Indian-Chinese-Bhutanese border area.

Outside of these factors, each district in Bhutan has a multi-faceted bureaucratic system with elections held every five years. In the Haa District, the position of Thromde Ngotshab - the equivalent of a governor- is currently held by Lhab Tshering, who won 51.4 percent in the 2016 local government elections. Each gewog has a council of members that consists of the Gup, the council head, the Mangmi, the council deputy chair, and several representatives known as Tshogpas.

Suggested Readings

Royal Government of Bhutan, Haa Dzongkhag Homepage.

Second Local Government Election – 2016. Election Reports for Haa Dzongkhag.