It takes about 30 to 40 minutes for the villagers of Tshojong in Lunana to fetch drinking water from a nearby streams.

The villagers claim they have been collecting water this way for many years.

While the chiwog’s residents are longing for a proper water supply, equipment for the rural water supply scheme (RWSS) for Tshojong has been lying idle near Punakha Dzong for more than a year.

Lunana gup, Kaka, said Tshojong is the only place that is yet to receive water supply.

Gup Kaka said the dzongkhag health and engineering sector, that is responsible for RWSS, purchased the equipment worth Nu 250,000 and kept it near Punakha Dzong since January last year. “Since the equipment were left unattended and not transported to Lunana, around eight pipes were lost.”

Gup Kaka said he raised the issue during the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) but the health and engineering sector did not confirm when they would transport the equipment to Lunana.

He said that the DT, however, decided that the concerned offices should replace the missing pipes.

During the DT, the dzongkhag officials said they could not transport the materials to Tshojong, as the equipment needs to be airlifted and it is not confirmed whether there is funding to airlift these materials.

Local leaders said Tshojong is the only chiwog in Lunana that is yet to receive proper drinking water connections, while four other chiwogs were already connected with the RWSS since 2012-2013. They said equipment for the other chiwogs were also airlifted.

Local leaders said that without proper drinking water connections, people face hygiene issues, as the water is muddy in summer and frozen during the winters.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue