Banks on reservoir to boost agriculture besides ensuring drinking water

Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Ngatshang gewog in Mongar has been coping up with an acute shortage of water for both drinking and agriculture. They are not complaining anymore. They found a solution.

The gewog administration and people of its five chiwogs have decided to construct private reservoirs for each household.

Through the rural water supply scheme budget, gewog would provide materials like 10 bags of cement, manhole cover, inlet and outlet corner, flashing gate and float valve. Residents will construct the reservoir tank themselves.

The private tanks will be connected to the recently built tanks in some villages.

The gewog would procure the materials soon and distribute it to the households, who could complete the structure in a set time line.

Ngatshang gup, Dorji Leki, said the decision was made in gewog tshogde and it is aimed to address the drinking water problem, boost winter vegetable plantation and prepare for disaster management.

He said stored water could be used to fight fire mishaps too.

Residents of the 350 households in the gewog are happy.

A farmer from Yekhar village, Drubtho, said they faced water problem until a common tank for the village was constructed.

He said he would now grow vegetables on a large scale if water were available. “I could not grow vegetables for our consumption until now due to water shortage.”

The village tshogpa, Norbu, said they could now tap rainwater during monsoon and connect to the tanks.

Meanwhile, the gewog is also in the process of connecting farm roads to land left barren for years. Last year, the gewog constructed a 3.5kms farm road to a place called Thangdong. The road diversion from Yadi-Sershong gewog connects to over 10 acres of paddy fields belonging to 15 households in Peshuphu chiwog.

With material and technical support from Agriculture Research Development Center (ARDC) in Wengkhar, farmers cultivated spring paddy in about three acres of wetland last year. Landowners are planning to increase the area for plantation this season.

Gup Dorji Leki said another 1.5kms farm road is connected to Namkha Aring in Thumbari chiwog where acres of wetland and dry land including orange orchard has been left barren.

“Around 30 fruit-bearing orange trees are sold for Nu 3,000 to the middleman due to transportation problem, and the road is expected to boost the interest of rural farmers to generate income and achieve self-reliance through modern infrastructures,” he said.

The gup also said the gewog would construct a road to connect two similar farmlands of Yawri and Kapashing which are in the 12th Plan.