Five-year Adaptation Fund project to provide reliable water supply to 13 gewogs

In the latest development, 13 gewogs in Paro, Dagana and Tsirang are expected to receive reliable water supply for drinking and irrigation in the next five years. This five-year project worth more than Nu 820 M is being funded by the Adaptation Fund. The Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock held a two-day inception workshop to kick-start the project in Paro recently.

Scheduled to begin the implementation on the 1st of next month, the project aims to benefit more than 36,000 people residing in the targeted areas.

For Dagana, it will be implemented in Drujeygang, Laja, and Tsangkha Gewogs while for Paro, it will be carried out in Dopshari, Lunyi, Lango, Dotey, Tsento, Shaba and Wangchang Gewogs. And for Tsirang, it will be executed in Semjong, Tsirang Toed and Pungtenchhu Gewogs.

These specific gewogs have been identified as priorities for intervention under the government’s water flagship programme. They have been identified as high-priority areas due to water stress worsened by climate change.

Dagana currently has 719 water sources with 13 already dried up, and 271 sources drying up. Similarly, Tsirang has 306 water sources with six dried up and 59 drying up. In Paro, out of 237 sources, 11 have dried up and 105 are currently drying up.

Recognising the severity of the issue, the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conversation or BTFEC successfully acquired the funding after a two year process.

“After these years, we are very hopeful and confident that over 50,000 people who reside in these three districts, I believe it takes over 70 per cent of people in the Dzongkhags should have adequate drinking water and irrigation water,” said Karma Tshering (PhD), the managing director of BTFEC.

To oversee the project’s implementation and achievement, a Project Steering Committee, comprising members from the three districts, has been formed.

“This is the first adaptation fund project for Bhutan. So, if we can do well in this project, there is definitely much more funding to come through from this Adaptation Fund. So, we see this as a test for Bhutan, especially for three districts,” added Karma Tshering.

Established in 2001, the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Fund aims to support concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing parties vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change under the Kyoto Protocol. Bhutan’s grant is a part of the fund’s ongoing commitment to support climate adaptation efforts worldwide.

Over the next five years, the funds will be disbursed in ten instalments. The Bhutan Trust Find for Environmental Conservation will administer the grant, while the government will oversee the project’s execution.

Devika Pradhan

Edited by Sonam Pem

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