For students of Samtengang Central School, venturing to nearby villages with empty buckets around 5am to fetch water was a common routine. With an erratic water supply, washing laundry, maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness was a major challenge for students living in hostels.

Those difficult days are gone with the completion of the De-Suung national service water project yesterday.

More than 30 de-suups for the past three months laid pipes and constructed a reservoir as part of the project.

Speaking at the handing-taking ceremony in Samtengang yesterday, Wangdue Dzongdag Sonam Jamtsho said that the project was expected to take five months if constructed by a private contractor. However, it was completed within three months by the de-suups.

He added that the new water source was expected to benefit the central school and the nearby Samtengang Primary School, which has around 250 students.

Samtengang CS has more than 650 students with the majority living in hostels.

A class XII student in Samtengang CS, Pasang Lham said that water was erratic in the past, which often caused the students to run late for classes. “Sometimes we have to wash our clothes at night.” The school has 370 female students.

Another student Sonam Wangchuk said that with morning classes beginning at 6am, students had to wake up around 5am to fetch water from the nearby villages.

He added that students went to nearby villages on weekends to wash their clothes. “Some give us water but others say that water is running out in their tanks so they don’t share.”

While the water from the new water source in Phangkha is supplied exclusively to the central school, the old water source is shared with the primary school.

The water project was completed at a cost of Nu 2 million.

The water project in Samtengang is the fourth project to complete under the De-Suung national service water project.

By Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

Edited by Tshering Palden