Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

The drinking water shortage for residents of Dzamlingzor chiwog in Gosarling gewog has deteriorated in recent years due to the increased population. After their plea to secure safe and reliable drinking water for 52 households did not get through to the authorities, the locals have come to their own rescues.

They appointed a caretaker from within the community and are paying him Nu 8,000 a month to ensure continued water supply to the residents.

Every day, Khara Nanda spends time switching water inflow to four pipelines that supply water to four different areas in the chiwog. During water shortage at the storage tank, he visits the water source located hours away from the gewog. “If I start by six in the morning, I get to the source by noon.”

If there is huge maintenance work, villagers help him. The source is located 14km away in Kilkhorthang gewog.

Khara Nanda is fully committed to his job. But every other day, he has to take in countless complaints from the residents.

“I don’t receive the calls and if there are major issues, I contact the chairperson,” he said.

He is, however, happy with the increased payment. Until 2013, he worked for Nu 3,000 a month.

A resident, Pema Lhamo, said that the arrangement among the households had worked to date. “We get water at night for two hours. We store it in a tank as it is easier,” she said.

But, it is not enough on the farms.

Ran Bdr Tamang said that the water shortage has become acute in recent years. “Sometimes, arguments break out among residents due to water. It is difficult to grow vegetables.”

Chairperson of the group, Dhan Kumar Neopani, said that with new construction and increased population, mostly tenants have increased pressure on the already drying water source.

There were only 40 households a few years ago.

He said that there was no budget in the gewog and the new solutions were indispensable. “But the crops and vegetables are water-intensive and it is challenging for us.”

If the gewog approves the budget, he said that there is a new water source in Padtshaling gewog.

Dzamlingzor chiwog representative Tika Ram said that there are no water sources nearby. “It is costly to source from other gewogs. It would cost about Nu 3 million.”

“The gewog has plans to resolve the drinking water issue next year,” he said.


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