Lhakpa Quendren | Tsirang

The number of acute water shortage days for residents of Tsirangtoed Gewog are numbered.

The survey for the drinking water project has been completed under the water flagship programme following a proposal from the Tsirangtoed Gewog administration through Tsirang dzongkhag administration.

Tsirangtoed Gup Nanda Lal Kharel said, he was told that about 99 percent of the work plan has been completed and the dzongkhag administration would soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the water flagship programme. “I hope the project will be implemented soon.”

He said that the new drinking water would be channeled from the Dhabchhu water source in Phuentenchu Gewog, which is about 30km away from Tsirangtoed.

“There are no water sources within our gewog as the village is situated on a slope,” he said.

A local resident said that the villagers have been suffering from acute water shortage for about three decades. “All the elected governments have promised to look into the matter but they turned a deaf ear to our request.”

The school and healthcare centre have also been affected by the acute water shortage.

Tsirangtoe Central School Principal, Yeshi, said that the water shortage affects the health and learning of the students. “It makes students vulnerable to infections and water-borne diseases in summer and they have to take leave.”

He also said that the water shortage also presents challenges to practice basic hygiene and sanitation among the students.

The school shares the old line from Phuentenchu which is not enough to cater for 76 staff and 830 students of which 570 are boarding students including children studying in pre-primary classes.

Given the challenges, Yeshi said the school administration implemented a water management system to make the school safe for students.

“We have scheduled water timing for the hostel, academic block, and the staff quarter depending on the need,” he said.

“We also have two handwashing stations each with 10 water taps. The students take turns to wash their clothes on the weekends,” he said, adding that some even go to a small stream outside the school campus.

A teacher said that water shortage at the school is a big concern. “We have to ensure a safe place for students, but on the other hand, students face problems in washing clothes and even plates and mugs.”

Tsirangtoed Gewog serves as a centre for residents of neighbouring gewogs to avail themselves of health, education, and forest services due to its strategic location.

Should everything come as expected, the drinking water would benefit about 2,300 populations of 315 households, a forest beat office for three neighbouring gewogs, healthcare, and renewable natural resources centres in the gewog.