Chencho Dema 

Punakha—The construction of a  water supply system for Barp and Tobesia  gewogs is expected to solve the drinking water shortage of more than 700 households or about  over 10,000 individuals in the two gewogs.

The two gewogs had been experiencing shortage of reliable drinking water. In the Barp gewog, the mushrooming settlement after the Punatsangchhu project kicked off a decade ago, and the growing population has made the shortage worse.

The ground-breaking ceremony of the project was conducted at Thinleygang, Punakha yesterday. The project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund will also benefit nine government institutions in the two gewogs.

Officials from the Punakha dzongkhag administration said the project aims to enhance resilience and adaptation to climate change through integrated water resource management and infrastructures.

A water intake structure with a capacity of 150 cubic meters at the source will be constructed to ensure a steady and reliable supply of water.

“Five water storage tanks will also be constructed, providing enhanced storage capacity to meet the needs of the community,” the official said. 

To ensure efficient water distribution, a 17-kilometer long pipeline will be installed, stretching from Okalum to Lobesa.

Meanwhile, a water treatment plant will be constructed at Dashiding in Lobesa, to ensure clean and safe water for all beneficiaries.

Officials said that to address any potential issues or complaints related to the project, grievance redressal committees have been established in both the gewog and Dzongkhag levels. The committees will provide a structured platform for stakeholders to voice concerns and seek resolutions. 

Farmers attending the ceremony yesterday said that the project came at a huge relief. Betu, a 65-year-old resident of Barp gewog who, attended the ceremony said that the water shortage in his village will soon be resolved.

“For years, the residents have been struggling with water issues, while wealthy individuals could manage to secure water from other sources,” he said. 

“I am grateful that with the completion of the project, it will help us concentrate  more in the fields than securing drinking water,” he said. 

 The overall cost of the project is estimated at Nu 93 million.