Tshering Namgyal | Lhuentse

Catering to Maenbi gewog, Tangmachu school and other government offices like the basic health unit and RNR office, Tangmachu town is growing.

Residents of the 10 shops operating from makeshift huts and private houses have been grappling with acute drinking water shortages.

They said their drinking water source at Ngechhu, located more than four kilometres away from Tangmachu area has enough water, but the small inlet reservoir often gets blocked because of debris.  

The situation worsens during the monsoon season.

“We live without water to drink and cook for about a week besides facing difficulty to maintain hygiene,” a resident, Lhamo, said.

She said that even when the water comes, it’s murky and not drinkable.

Tangmachhu residents said with no constant supply of water, they fetch water in vehicles from distant places.

However, the water flagship programme in the gewog , which will soon take off, is expected to address the perennial water issue.

Maenbi Gup, Ngawang Dhendup said survey for the source was already done and it’s in tendering stage. “We’re hoping to begin in this month as indicated by the dzongkhag and is expected to complete in about three months.”

He said the project would improve the intake reservoir and existing water tank without distribution chamber with installation of gate valves at the source and construct another tank above Tangmachhu school.

Ngawang Dhendup said the project would benefit more than 100 households in Tangmachhu-Gorgan chiwog.

He said Maenbi gewog, which is a rice bowl of Lhuentse, also faces irrigation water shortage in all the five chiwogs because the old irrigation canals are worn out and water seeps out.

The gup said gewog administration has given irrigation water as a top priority in the 13th Plan and they would maintain it from gewog budget.