English | Dzongkha Friday, June 18, 2021

Farmers of Joogar village in Paro using water pumps to irrigate paddy fields


Jun 10, 2021

For the last five years, the people of Joogar village under Doteng Gewog in Paro have been relying heavily on water pumps to irrigate paddy fields in their village. However, some farmers are worried now. The only spring water from which the villagers draw irrigation water is gradually drying up today.

It is paddy transplantation time in Joogar village in Doteng Gewog. Like every year, almost every farmer uses water pumps to draw irrigation water into their paddy fields.

One of them is the 58 years old Sangay. With the gradual drying up of their water source today, Sangay has to often turn off his machine and wait for the small pool that he made to get filled up for his pump to displace more water into his paddy fields.

“We have to use pumps to do our paddy works. The existing spring water source is becoming smaller with the change in time. And when it is a sunny day, the water from the source dries up drastically. That water will only be sufficient for a portion of the terrace. It is almost 5-6 years since we started using water pumps,” he said.

He added earlier, without a water pump, it used to take more than a month to complete the paddy works. But today, it only takes half a month to complete the same works.

Likewise, Chimi Dorji, the Mangmi of Doteng Gewog said that this is now starting to become a major challenge for them.

“The gewog has maintained and constructed new irrigation canals as a priority from where we can use water from the river below. And the problem is quite solved. But the main issue is to those villagers who have their fields located on the uphills. They rely upon the spring water to pump irrigation water. We have irrigation canals also but due to the change in the weather pattern, water sources dry up and it is becoming a major challenge for us,” he said.

The gewog has also procured three water pumps to pump water from the Doh-chhu.

“We have installed two, three-phase pumps and a small pump in the top. We started using these pumps this year. Gewog procured the machine while people did the labour while installing it,” said Phub Dorji, the Joogar-Pachu chiwog Tshogpa.

Likewise, informing that this is a pilot project, for now, the Doteng Gup, Lethro said the gewog also plans to construct such technologies in other chiwogs as well if proven successful.

“This is our pilot project. If it goes smoothly and benefits the farmers here, we are planning to do the same in other chiwogs as well. This is what we discussed during the gewog tshogdu. As of now we cannot say it is benefiting a hundred per cent but for some 40 households in this chiwog, the problem has been addressed,” he said.

Meanwhile, the gewog is also planning to construct a water reservoir tank above the village, which can accumulate enough water from the spring water for drinking and irrigation purposes.

Namgay Wangchuk, Paro

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