…solution to  Yangyner and Jamkhar’s water woes

Neten Dorji | Yangyner

With the handing over of De-suung water project to Yangyner  in Trashigang and Jamkhar villagers in Trashiyangtse, residents will have a reliable supply of irrigation water.

The Khangdari-Godari project that will benefit more than 154 households in Yanyner and Jamkhar gewogs was handed over to people yesterday. The water project started on November 25, 2021 where more than 60 De-suups and army personnel were engaged.

During the handing over session, Trashigang dzongdag, Ugyen Dorji, said people of Yangyner and Jamkhar should now take ownership and be responsible for the maintenance. “Completing the canal is a success, however, if people start earning income and improve their livelihood, it can be considered an achievement. We will monitor how farmers take ownership and benefit from the project,” said the dzongdag.

Yangyner gup, Dupthob, said gewog officials and people are grateful to the De-suups for their service and solving water issues in the locality. He said that although the gewog has been allocating a budget to maintain the infrastructure, it was challenging to cover due to limited budgets. “If we spend all the budget on the construction of the canal, it will hamper other development activities.”

Farmers of Yangyner and Jamkhar welcomed the new projects with many already planning to cultivate more paddy and winter vegetables on about 18 acres of fallow land.

Villagers said they were worried if the contractor would complete the work on time if executed under the water flagship programme. “But the Desuups completed the project within a short period,” said a villager.

A villager from Yangyner,Sumchung, 60, said with adequate and reliable water, they can now cultivate paddy and more vegetables for commercial purposes. “We are thankful to the De-suung water project.”

Farmers of Yangyner and Jamkhar have water, but  the 3.5 kilometres long irrigation canal that draws water from the Jamkhar stream was damaged. Maintaining it was a problem as flash floods washed parts of it every monsoon.

Villagers said farmers were forced to leave more than 16 acres of fields fallow for almost 15 years.

A farmer from Yangyner, Tshewangla, said that every year, farmers of Yangyner have to quarrel and even fight for water during the paddy cultivation season. “We can finally focus on our work.”

Many farmers are planning to start cultivating with the project ensuring sufficient water.

“It is a sign of how investment in irrigation can go a long way that many villagers here didn’t have to depend on rain to cultivate paddy or not have to import rice,” said Tshewangla.

Agriculture officials said the completion of the irrigation water project will help restore the uncultivated land in both the gewogs and help farmers increase paddy production and cultivate spring crops.