English | Dzongkha Friday, September 21, 2018

Community blames mining activities for water shortage

Pema Tshoki, Thimphu
May 23, 2013

waterSourceThe villagers of Gedawom in Thimphu are blaming the increasing mining activities and the new settlements within the community for the acute shortage of irrigation water.

The only one water source in the village is being shared among the four mining companies, 17 households from Jamdo and 26 households of Gedawom community.

One of the affected villagers, Namgay Tshering, owns about seven acres of land including paddy fields. He hasn’t been able to water his field. “Last year, we have a good amount of rainfall so I was able to manage.  But this year if there is less rainfall we will be in serious trouble.”

Another villager said he doesn’t understand why all the mining company has to be in their area.

Maedwang gup, Tandin Pema, said they are aware of the problem but there is nothing much they can do.  “We don’t have any solution as of now.

“We are planning to use the water, which comes from the source, solely for drinking purposes. We thought we will pump water from Jigme Rongchu for irrigation purpose.”

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And it’s been about a month since the locals have been experiencing erratic water supply.

“The water we receive from the mining area is hardly enough. We have been receiving very little in the evening for about a month now,” said one of the villagers. He said the little they collect towards the evening are also sprinkled on dusty roads.

Tanidn Pema said the community share water source with marble factory. For the water management, a caretaker was deployed by the factory and he was given a monthly salary. But during one the gewog meetings, people said the caretaker was favouring the factory owner.

The meeting had then decided that the water will be looked after by owners of the four mining companies.

RSA is a limestone unit that shares the water source with the community in the area. The representative of RSA, Singye Namgyel, said they came up with the water source after signing an agreement with the community. Singye Namgyel said water has been equally shared with the community. He said the water pipe got damaged but then it was fixed.

However, the people say frequent blasting in current mining sites is shrinking their water source.  They said felling of trees, construction of roads and water, being shared by the mines, are also adding up to the shortage of water


1 Comment for “Community blames mining activities for water shortage”

  1. Jigme Dorji

    NECS – can we take a look the EIA clearance? Thank you.

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