Water: Villagers of Kumchi received a proper drinking water supply that was officially inaugurated on December 5.

The small village of 18 households in Phangyul gewog, Wangdue, have faced acute drinking and irrigation water shortage for more than two decades.

Phangyul Gup Ugyen said that water supply scheme would resolve many problems.

Gup Ugyen said the water supply was planed much earlier but finding the source and getting funds took time. The water had to be brought from Zhochalung – about 18-23km from Kumchi village.

Phangyul gewogs’ administration officer, Gem Dorji, said the water supply scheme cost the government Nu 3.3 million, Of which Nu 700,000 was acquired from previous year’s budget.

“About two weeks ago, when the water was opened for testing, we spotted birds and wild animals like deer and wild boars coming to drink water near our village,” said Karma Tshering, 49.  “I was born and brought up in this village but have not spotted a single bird till this time.”

The water shortage in the village is so severe that the villagers lost several cows due to water shortage, said Karma Tshering, a villager. “Water problem in Kumchi existed since I was a small boy, but it has become severe more than a decade ago.

Sigay, a farmer, said, “We had to depend on rain water for paddy and chili plantation, which are our main source of income.”

In winter people had to go as far as Bajo town to fetch water. Many villagers left for places like Thimphu leaving their land fallow.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue