Choki Wangmo | Tsirang
Prem Bdhr Khapangi, 48, is from Balakhop in Semjong, Tsirang. He grew up in a hut with a kitchen and a single room.
Today, he is a proud father of three. The family recently completed their four-room house. He constructed separate washrooms and kitchen.
Like Prem, not many people in many parts of the chiwogs in Tsirang and Dagana had access to proper houses. People built houses with bamboos and used tarpaulin and dried leaves for roofing.
“The huts were unsafe. Rain water dripped in from the roof and there were risks of snake and wild animal attacks,” said Nimki Maya Raya. “It was very difficult for our children.”
In October, 26 families in Tashiling-Maed chiwog in Semjong completed constructing their houses with fund and construction material support from the Tarayana Foundation. The construction began in 2015.
The Foundation provided to each family a fund support of Nu 10,000, CGI sheets, toilet pots, construction rods and water taps, among others.
According to villagers, out of 60 households, only two were roofed with CGI sheets in the past.
“If not for the support we received from the Foundation, our dream of a safe house would not have come true,” said Prem Bdhr Khapangi, adding that people in the village did not have income sources due to lack of irrigation water and lack of market.
Besides support from the Foundation, he spent about Nu 300,000 to construct the house.
“I was raised in a hut and I raised my children in a that hut too. Finally, in my old age, I am happy we have a proper house,” said Gauri Man Monger.
Lives were challenging for women and children. “There were fire risks in the thatched huts,” said a mother, Bhagi Maya. “We feel very secure now.”
The Foundation also distributed 300 cardamom and five avocado saplings to each family. Cardmom is a major source of income in the chiwog.
The 28-member Balakhop Vegetable Group received Nu 100,000, vegetable seeds, and irrigation sets with support from Rural Economic Development Fund through UNDP.
More than 20 families in Thasa, Dagana also received new houses with flush toilets in October. In the past, the foundation supported them with farm machinery.
For enhanced livelihood, communities were also given five different type of fruit trees through the sustainable land management initiatives. To address water shortage in the chiwog, the Foundation constructed three water reservoirs with a capacity of 10,000-50,000L.
The Foundation will complete the construction of a few more houses soon. The United Nations Development Programme’s Small Grants Programme and American Himalaya Foundation supported the projects.