Thinley Namgay  

Monsoon disrupts water sources around the country, causing a shortage of drinking water in many places.

A permanent solution has hard to come by.

Thimphu continues to face water shortage every year during summer. In the last four days, residents of Simtokha, Babesa, Olakha, Changzamtog and parts of Changbangdu experienced one of the worst water shortages in recent times.

People carrying cartons of bottled water was one of the scenes during this period.

The heavy rainfall on June 20 caused a massive landslide below Chamgang and broke 70 metres of water pipe which caters drinking water in these affected areas.

The next day, 35 thromde workers and de-suups went for the maintenance work. However, the work duration prolonged.

The thromde official said that the site was on the slope, and they took more days. “Being a sloppy area, workers had to be careful about falling stones. Materials couldn’t reach on time due to roadblock. The road widening work between Simtokha and Chamgang is ongoing.”

He also said that after fixing the pipe, the worker had to add control weight to it and consumed more time.

The thromde supplied water to the affected areas using tankers. However, thromde has only two tankers and had to hire three more from RBP and private individuals.

In the last four days, more than 370,000 litres of water was supplied to the residents of the affected areas. On June 23, 131,000 litres was provided.

However, many say that thromde has supplied water only twice in the last four days. For the office goers, they have no one to fetch water when the tankers come.

In Olakha, some residents bring water from a nearby spring.

“The water that I got from the tanker is not enough. Toilet itself consume more water,” Choki Dorji, a restaurant owner, said, adding that it would be better if thromde could provide water through tanker at least once a day.

In the last six months, residents of Changzamtog faced water shortage thrice.

Jigmith Lepcha from Babesa said that cleanliness was her main concern, and it was difficult without water. “In the initial days, I had no stored water and had to resort to bottled water.  As an authority concerned, thromde need to explore alternative source to provide continuous water supply.”

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk