… dzongkhag says the problem will be addressed soon 

Neten Dorji | Doksum

As rains have started early this year, residents of Doksum town in Trashiyangtse are worried about a disease outbreak because of their untreated water supply.

For years, the residents had suffered from an inadequate drinking water supply. Then a flashflood following heavy rains swept away their supply canal. The problem now is the quality of drinking water despite having a water treatment plant.

Residents said that they have been consuming untreated water for many years.

“We are drinking untreated water that comes from the irrigation canal,” said a resident, Chennpo.

He said that there is also a problem with the water meter.

Another resident raised similar concerns, saying that their drinking water is most of the time murky, mixed with mud.  “If this continues there could be an outbreak of a disease in the locality. We’re really worried and sad,” she added.

The drinking water supply of Doksum town is connected to an irrigation canal near Lengkhar and Chakidemi villages in Khamdang gewog.

A shopkeeper,  Kezang Dema, said that she has been compelled to drink dirty water.  She said that the drinking water supply from the water treatment plant is unfit for consumption.

“Most people drink mineral water because there isn’t a clean drinking water supply,” she said.

A mother of two said that they were bound to buy jars of mineral water for drinking purposes after polluted water was supplied from the treatment plant.

With contaminated drinking water supply, all the residents started buying water from Gomphu kora water supply plant. A 15-litre jar of water costs Nu 285.

Town tshogpa Karma Lhamo, said since most of the residents are carrying out construction works in the town, works are affected without water.

“They are facing a water shortage for two to three days. We have never faced water problems before,” she said.

She said they have reported the matter to the dzongkhag administration several times and officials informed them that they would clean the water supply. “But nothing has happened so far.”

They have also written to the dzongkhag administration regarding the water treatment plant and drinking water being connected to an irrigation canal.

Meanwhile, dzongkhag municipal in-charge, Bali Raj Rai, said that they treat water twice a week in winter and every two days in summer. “Since water is clean in winter, we treat it two times a week.”

He said that the issue will be addressed as the dzongkhag administration decided to connect the water supply from the Buyang water source.

“The dzongkhag administration is ready to float the tender to award the construction work,” said the municipal in-charge. “Once the water source is connected from the main source, the problem of contaminated water will be solved.”