Residents of Shali chiwog in Khamdang, Tashiyangtse, have been battling acute drinking water shortage for decades.

This comes after the villagers have worked for a month to connect the drinking water from a source in Buyang, which is in another mountain.

The residents of the 170 households in the chiwog pay Nu 500 every year to the water in-charge to look after the water but there is no continuous water.

Villagers say they do not want to pay the in-charge but have no choice since everyone is paying.

A resident, Lemo, 60, said there was water shortage since she was a child. “We have been depending on rain and spring waters.

Another resident, Dechen Tshomo, said during monsoon, people fetch water from the spring waters but its dries up during winter, leaving the villages without water for weeks at times.

The mother of two said they then have to fetch water from another spring water source. “But it belongs to a villager and we have to seek permission. ’’

A village elder, Kota, 61, said Shali residents has brought Buyang spring water, which is located more than 13kms away from the chiwog. “But it is difficult to work since the water leaks from the canals in the middle of the jungle.’’

Another villager, Tshering, 35, said Buyang spring water is the only source for Khamdang gewog.

He said that when there is a problem in the water connection, it takes about five to six days to fix.

The residents say it is difficult to maintain cleanliness at home without water.

They said they are hopeful that the new government would support them and provide them with a budget to connect proper drinking water to the chiwog.

In Shali Primary School, the teachers say that while they educate the children on the importance of maintaining cleanliness, there is a water shortage.

Khamdang gup, Norbu, said almost all the chiwogs in the gewog have  water shortage problem. “All the chiwog under Khamdang gewog depend on Buyang spring water and water had reached at Serpang. We are ready to distribute the water but we are waiting for pipes.”

He also said the gewog is hopeful that the new government would allocate budget to resolve the water crisis in the chiwog.

Neten Dorji | Trashiyangtse