The renovation of the Lachu irrigation channel in Dangchu is expected to solve the water scarcity issue in Ridha village.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) funded project is expected to benefit more than 45 households in the village.

According to Dangchu Gup Pemba, in April, the farmers in Ridha would pick a token to decide their turns to receive water for paddy cultivation.

“But one can’t be happy that they got to be first as they’ll receive water only after more than 20 days. Ridha is one of the villages in Dangchu, which engages in continuous vegetables and cereal production.”

With 45 households in the village and two households receiving water for one day during paddy season, a farmer awaits their second turn for 22 days.

Doongdoong nyelsa-Norbooding Tshogpa Rinzin said that, while the farmers manage vegetable cultivation with rainwater, the farmers had issues during paddy season. “The farmers cultivate all kind of vegetables—potatoes, chili and cereals.”

The water to Ridha village will come from the existing irrigation water source Lachu.  The source is located about 8km away from the village.

Gup Pemba said that almost 50 percent of the existing irrigation water was lost on the way due to small irrigation channel.

“Earlier, the water was enough for the people as the population was less. But with increasing number of households, water is scarce,” Tshogpa Rinzin said.

The new irrigation water channel will be large enough to accommodate the water lost on the way to the village.

Tshogpa Rinzin also pointed out that as the new channel would be connected until Ridhagoenpa area, water to the remaining households in Ridhawo would have be channelled through the existing irrigation channel. “My concern is if the old channel would be able to accommodate the new quantity of water.”

The project worth Nu 1.8 million was inaugurated on March 24.  The project is expected to be completed within eight months.

Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue