Water: Residents of Panbang town are facing a shortage of drinking water, which is caused not by drying sources but because of an aging storage and distribution system.

So acute is the problem of water shortage that people drink mineral water. Some even use it to wash dishes.

Some shopkeepers in the town have resorted to pulling in their own drinking water from reliable sources. A shopkeeper, who has not been able to construct his own drinking water system, said that those who have private drinking water do not face similar problems.

Ugyen Tshering, a shopkeeper, is constructing his own water storage and supply system. “I drink from the Basic Health Unit’s overflow at the moment,” he said. “I will not have to depend on anybody thereafter.”

Some people harvest rainwater in summer.

Jamba Choda, 25, said Gomphu-Panbang highway construction aggravated the water shortage in the town. “Tanks and pipes are old and leakage is high,” he said.

Nado, 58, owns a private water connection. His neighbours come to him for water. “I let them take water and do the washing here,” he said.

Nima Wangdi | Panbang