Shortage: The sun has just set at the roadside village of Brenglung village in Trashiyangtse. Carrying a few buckets, Jigme and his friend are walking to a nearby automobile workshop.
They are headed to fetch drinking water, as has been their routine for almost a year now.
Brenglung village has been grappling with water shortage for more than five years.
“Water shortage is becoming an issue here and newly constructed houses don’t get water for months,” Jigme, who also constructed a house last year, said. “If interventions are delayed, water would soon become scarce in the village.”
Brenglung shares its water source with Sali village. Together, the two villages have about 88 households. Located about four hours walk at a place locally referred to as Jatan, the small water source has already started drying up.
The Kholongchu Hydroelectric Project (KHP) has resulted in new houses coming up in the two villages. About 50 new houses have been built since 2006, former Khamdang gup, Kuenzang said.
Also the head of water management group in Brenglung, Kuenzang said the source is shrinking by the year and is not able to cater to the two villages.
“By the time water reaches Brenglung area, its only a trickle,” he said. “Water is not enough in Sali also.”
Kuenzang said the water source was built about 15 years ago and is exposed to nature’s elements. Tank blockages and breakdown of pipelines is common during summers..
“We tried every means to keep the water supply flowing but trees and boulders fall into the tank. In summer, we have to clear the blockages and repair pipes every week,” he said.
Water caretaker, Bumpa said the only solution could be the construction of a new tank with better facilities but budget is an issue.
“The little budget we get is only enough to carry out routine works. We have asked the gewog administration to see if some fund could be squeezed from the Gewog Development Grant,” he said.
Villagers are also expecting a solution to come by from the water tank that is under construction at Brenglung for the upcoming Khitsang town.
“If the dzongkhag administration could permit a small pipe to be dug into the tank for water supply to Brenglung, our water problem should be solved,” Bumpa said. “Water shortage of Sali would also be addressed since water need not be shared anymore.”
Tshering Wangdi, Trashiyangtse