Putting an end to the age-old practice of manually carrying drinking water, more than 40 households in Dumseygang, Gomtu, will be connected to safe drinking water supply by the end of this month.

The Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) has funded the project. At Nu 1.6 million (M), a huge tank with a capacity of 50,000 litres of water has been constructed. It is connected to the source and pumping of water has been a success.

Distribution lines have to be placed now, which the government is funding.

As of now, residents still carry water from sources afar walking difficult and long paths, which take about an hour’s time.

One of the oldest residents of Dumseygang, Kabiraj Gurung, 85, said the new water connection would be a blessing to the people.

“I do not carry water today but my children do,” he said, adding that the difficult days would be now over.

Kabiraj Gurung shared that he used to carry three containers filled with water when he was young.

Meanwhile, this is the second time a project to provide safe drinking water has been initiated. Some years ago, water was pumped from the source and distributed to the residents. However, people could drink water from that source only for a week after which there has been no drinking water in their taps.

Although the current situation is not dismal with monsoon rains filling nearby sources, another villager, Bal Bahadur Rai said winter is dry and bad.

“We are expecting this new project to solve the problem,” he said. “The system used this time is better and we have been assured water would be supplied this time.”

A survey to replace the older pipes with newer ones has been already accomplished. Pipes have also been procured.

As Dumseygang lies on a slightly higher elevation, people on the top of this village are the ones facing more difficulties, Bal Bahadur Rai said. He pointed out that sources were found downwards at the base. Relevant agencies must complete this distribution works as soon as possible, the farmer said.

The Gomtu gewog administrative (ADM) officer Sangay Dorji said the project was “a historic one.”

“It is a success story as water can be pumped from the source unlike the earlier system,” he said, adding that distribution works will be done by this month.

Although 43 houses would benefit immediately, ADM officer Sangay Dorji said the number of households would increase later.

Dumseygang is located atop a hill, 15 kilometres away from Gomtu. There are more than 100 households.

Rajesh Rai | Gomtu