Chimi Dema | Dagana
More than 10 households in Gangzor Toed chiwog could grow paddy on about 8-acre land after the completion of Harkatey irrigation canal in Tsendagang gewog, Dagana in August.
The canal stretching over 2.6 kilometres was first of its kind in the dzongkhag constructed by a community-based contractor.
Without well-structured canal in the past, the village representative Ugyen Wangdi said that at least one-fourth of the households couldn’t grow paddy. The chiwog has 71 households.
The irrigation canal, that uses pipes, is expected to benefit 45 households covering 50 acres in two chiwogs of Gangzor Toed and Maed by next year.
“This year, most farmers didn’t expect the canal to complete. Only villagers residing nearby the canal raised nursery for saplings,” Ugyen Wangdi said.
A farmer of Gangzor Toed, Karma grows paddy in three acres. From the next season, he hopes to cultivate the remaining three acres of his land.
Without enough irrigation, farmer Sangay has been growing mostly maize. “I am happy that I will be able to cultivate my fields from next year,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dagana Planning Officer, Sonam Jamtsho said that the canal construction was awarded to community members to enhance their participation in construction and encourage ownership of the canal.
“Their support and participation are crucial,” he said.
Divided into four packages, the construction was awarded to four community-based contractors in May.
Sonam Jamtsho said that the contractors completed the construction a month prior to the given deadline.
“We would continue with the same initiative henceforth if villagers are willing to take ownership of developmental works in their locality,” he said.
The dzongkhag administration funded the project with Nu 5.209 million.
Tsendagang Gup Bal Bahadur Rana said this was the fourth project in the gewog that the dzongkhag administration supported. “Many villagers benefitted,” he said.