English | Dzongkha Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Forget agriculture, there is not even enough water to drink; Lhops of Ngawang Dramtoe

Nov 9, 2019

Agricultural practices are too ambitious a dream when there is not even enough water to drink. This is the situation the Lhops of Ngawang Dramtoe in Samtse find themselves in.

Water in Ngawang Dramtoe is so scarce that most water taps near houses stay dry for days. The current water connection facility is being repaired but the problem is far from over for the villagers.

Almost each of the 138 households in Ngawang Dramtoe has a water tap constructed outside their houses. Water comes in trickles whenever it does, villagers store it but it is hardly enough for drinking.

“We can’t even grow vegetables due to shortage of water. During the daytime we don’t get water thus we can’t wash our clothes. They release water at seven in the morning but we get only about an hour of water,” said Karma Dorji Doya from Ngawang Dramtoe under Tading Gewog in Samtse.

 The community has two water sources and got its first piped water connection in 2005. Nubchey Doya, the plumber in the village says drinking water shortage has been increasing over the years:

“Before we had about 70 households. Now, the population is increasing and thus the number of households. We are not able to build water supply infrastructure, which can cater to the increasing population. That is why the acute shortage of drinking water.”

 The Tarayana Foundation, which has a huge presence in the community says water shortage, is a cause of many issues in Ngawang Dramtoe.

“Because of water shortage, they couldn’t keep proper sanitation, couldn’t construct their houses on time, grow vegetables or fruits. They don’t even have drinking water, some they go all the way down to Amo Chhu to fetch water, which takes half a day,” said Thinley Bidha, the Field Officer with the Tarayana Foundation.

“When it comes to sanitation, we have to wash our body regularly but this is a problem. Without uninterrupted water supply, it directly affects us,” added Karma Dorji Doya.

To make matters worse, some households are reported to have bought bigger pipes and connected them to existing pipes at several points. The gewog has released Nu 1.5 M for repairs and maintenance works along the pipeline.

Sherub Dorji

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