… along with 150.99 acres of agricultural land 

Chencho Dema | Gasa

Aum Thujim, 76, of Damji in Gasa observed happily as the DeSuung officials handed over Sibjana irrigation scheme to the Khamaed gewog administration yesterday which will solve the irrigation water deficit for 50 households in the area.

She is certain that her crop production would increase this year. In the past, she would sometimes trek for hours to check the small water source out of concern of turning her field into fallow.

So far, farmers of Jabesa and Damji chiwogs have been struggling to get a reliable irrigation water supply.

The residents of Jabesa and Damji said that because of the insufficient irrigation water, when soil erosion frequently disrupted the water supply, it severely hampered cultivation.

A resident of Jabesa village said, “But with the continuous water supply for irrigation, we will be able to work more on our crops.”

Choeki Wangchuk, the Assistant Dzongkhag Agriculture Officer said, “Sebjina irrigation canal is one of the most important canals as farmers from three chiwog depend on it.”

Approximately 50 households will benefit from the irrigation channel, which he claimed covers about 150.99 acres of agricultural land including 73.923 acres of dry land.

Farmers mainly cultivate paddy, potatoes and vegetables. A flash flood in 2012 caused major damage to this canal. Since, 2012, no major maintenance has been done due to lack of budget.

The Agriculture Engineering Division (AED) then under Department of Agriculture has been the lead implementer of the project in partnership with DeSuung office with financial support of Nu 23.383 Million from the Water Flagship Programme (WFP).

The irrigation water will be supplied from the existing source at Sebjina which is about four kilometres from Jabesa chiwog. While the project was completed in a span of seven months.

On September 13, 2022, 79 de-suups (53 female and 26 female) were deployed to work on the project.

The inclement weather, according to some of the desuups, was one of the major obstacles they faced during the construction. 

The project has been implemented in partnership between Department of Agriculture and Water Projects, DeSuung National Service and the Royal Bhutan Army.

The project is a part of His Majesty the King’s Vision of providing adequate irrigation water to every farmer that was highlighted on September 12, 2020 during Royal Address to the nation.

Gasa Dzongdag, dzongkhag officials, MPs, and inhabitants of Jabesa and Damji attended the occasion.

Two water projects—one in Wophu and another irrigation water project in Gasa —have been completed under the DeSuung National Service Water project.