Tsangkha Chiwog residents grappling with drinking water shortage

Access to reliable drinking water is still a challenge for many villages across the country. The issue is no exception for the residents of Tsangkha Chiwog of Dagana’s Tsangkha Gewog. The residents attribute the acute drinking water shortage to the increasing settlements and chiwog’s hilltop location.

Water taps in the chiwog run dry most of the time affecting the daily household chores of the residents. For instance, recently, during a religious event, a group of students were seen helping with dishwashing using stored water.

Residents say drinking water supply remains scarce despite having two designated water supplies for the chiwog.

“Maintaining hygiene is difficult without a reliable drinking water supply. In the past, we used to fetch water from Tsangkha Lake but now the lake has also dried up. We have to depend only on the current water supply since we don’t have any other nearby water sources. We store water in containers that we get for around half an hour once in two to three days,” said Dawa, a resident.

“The drinking water problem is very severe here. We got a new drinking water supply from Laja Gewog as the previous one was inadequate but it is still insufficient. At times, we don’t even get water for cooking,” said Rinzin Lham, another resident.

“In the past, we used to have several small water sources in the locality. We used to fetch water from those sources when water taps ran dry. But all the smaller water sources in the locality have dried up now. The problem is very severe since the drinking water from the main line is not adequate for both residents and animals,” said Tshewang Lhamo, also a resident.

Meanwhile, the Tsangkha Chiwog Tshogpa said the drying up of the water source for the chiwog in recent years has caused the drinking water issue.

However, the Tshogpa added that the gewog is exploring a new drinking water source and looking for a separate water supply to recharge Tsangkha Lake.

Currently, the chiwog uses its drinking water supply to recharge the lake.

“We are not allowed to divert all 100 per cent water into our pipelines from the water source. We have to keep 40 per cent for wild animals and settlements in the lower areas. But we have been proposing for new drinking water supply to resolve the issue,” said Dorji Dukpa, Tsangkha Tshogpa.

Unless a solution is found, residents belonging to 70 households and offices including a middle secondary school in the chiwog will have to continue struggling with the drinking water shortage.

Pema Tshewang, Dagana

Edited by Sonam Pem

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