30 May, Pemagatshel: The nine households living around Chongshing Gonpa in Pemagatshel have been facing water shortages for a long time. In order to solve their problem, the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector has initiated the construction of a Rain Water Harvesting System for every household with a water holding capacity of 1500 litres.
According to Karma Wangdi, one of the beneficiaries, the gonpa area does not have any water source nearby. He added that fetching water, both for daily chores and farming is very hard to manage. Although, they have been provided a water pump a few distances away, the supply is not regular particularly during the power cut. As a result, most of the times people are compelled to depend on water at Mokshar which is around 3 km walk. However, with this new scheme in place, people can now store the water including rain and have a regular source at their doorsteps.
The Sector has spent around Nu. 8 lakhs (eight hundred thousand) for construction of each harvesting system; this is excluding the labour charge which is being carried out by the beneficiaries themselves. The new scheme is also expected to encourage a kitchen garden among the people.
Further, at Yomjor village, a water reservoir tank is under construction to solve similar water shortages for 32 households. The village Tshogpa, Ugyen Wangdi shared that the current water supply from Phidum is not sufficient. The new tank will supply them water through the already existing line at their door step.
According to the Dzongkhag Agriculture Officer, Kinzang Tshering, the completed tank will be hand over to the water user group which is expected to be formed soon. He added that this is to ensure the proper management of water source and tank.
Both the activities at Chongshing Gonpa and Yomjor are being funded by the Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP), an EU funded four year project to enhance resilience of Bhutan’s rural households to the effects of climate change.
Besides, CCAP is also supporting other activities in Pemagatshel such as electric fencing, piggery development, poultry, irrigation, dairy, land management, disposal pit construction, silo bin, seed and seedling distribution etc.
By Tshering Doma, ICS
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