English | Dzongkha Sunday, February 23, 2020

Water flagship programme; to ensure 24/7 drinking and irrigation water across the country

Oct 7, 2019

The government has allocated a budget of Nu 3bn for the water flagship programme. Through the programme, the government will ensure 24/7 drinking and irrigation water across the country by the end of 12th Five Year Plan. To this effect, the Works and Human Settlement Ministry signed an Annual Performance Agreement with the Prime Minister, today.

In the initial phase, the programme will be implemented in four Thromdes and eleven districts. The identified districts include Chhukha, Dagana, Monggar, Paro, Pema Gatshel, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse, Trashigang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang, and Zhemgang. The areas are identified based on the number of houses and water supply per hour per day. The government has kept Nu 500 M for the initial programme.

Some of the key deliverables in the fiscal year include conducting a watershed assessment and payment for ecosystem services, and feasibility study for water supply systems. The programme will also initiate non-revenue water for the Thromdes, and rehabilitation and construction of rural-urban water supply schemes. It also includes water treatment and distribution systems, strengthening water testing centres in the Thromdes and designated districts.

“We should provide 100 per cent safe and adequate drinking water to all households irrespective of how far the source is. Regarding irrigation, it would be a little difficult if there is no sufficient water source but we are targeting for 100 per cent. Unlike some other countries, we have plenty of water. We see some countries without water has been importing water from other countries. This water flagship programme will benefit our people immensely,” said Dr Lotay Tshering, the Prime Minister.

The flagship programme in overall aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water and irrigation through the protection of critical watersheds and wetlands, development of adequate and climate resilient infrastructure. It also targets to improve drinking water quality surveillance and strengthening of water legislation and governance.

Meanwhile, departments under the Home and Culture Affairs Ministry, the Finance Ministry and ten autonomous agencies signed their performance agreements. The Economic Affairs Ministry also signed its flagship programme on Cottage and Small Industry. The flagship programme will provide holistic support covering the entire business phases and create enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem for the development of CSIs.

Pema Tshewang

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