Lhakpa Quendren

Pangbang – The drying up of water sources in Goshing, Zhemgang poses a significant challenge for its residents, leading to acute water shortages.

Presently, the gewog staff must travel approximately 250 metres to Goshing Trashijong Chhoedhey Lhakhag to fetch water, and at times, they travel three kilometres towards Lamthang to address the water needs.

The severity of water scarcity is particularly felt in Lamtang and Lichibi chiwogs.

In Lamtang, 29 households share a meagre water source, insufficient to meet the demand for drinking water.

Lamtang tshogpa, Zangpo highlighted that four water sources in his chiwog have dried up, exacerbating the situation, especially during winter. He emphasised that the existing small pipe cannot adequately supply water to the entire village.

Zangpo said that the gewog has proposed installing a larger pipe, and this initiative is anticipated to be included in the 13th Plan. He explained, “We have identified a water source and proposed a water project to the Dzongkhag administration.”

However, despite raising the issue with government officials, residents express scepticism about prompt assistance. A resident pointed out: “Resolving the water issue would bring great relief to the community. However, it seems unlikely that help will come soon.”

Insufficient water not only affects daily life but also hinders agriculture. Tenzin from Budhashi said, “Without an adequate water supply, farming becomes a challenging task. Despite the need for a 24-hour water supply for farming, we even lack enough water for drinking.”

The urgent need for sustainable solutions to address the ongoing water shortage has led to conflicts among villagers. Officials from the Zhemgang Dzongkhag Administration acknowledge the issue, stating that it is incorporated into the draft 13th Plan.

A study by the Watershed Management Division in 2021 revealed that out of 7,399 water sources in the country, 69 have dried up, and 1,856 are in the process of drying up.

In Zhemgang alone, 70 out of 296 water sources are currently drying up. Various factors contribute to this, including road construction, forest fires, overgrazing, land use changes, transmission line and infrastructure development, and unstable geology.

Goshing Gewog, with 248 households and a total population of 3,090, heavily relies on agriculture. Oranges, ginger, and cardamom are major cash crops, while maize cultivation has declined. Villagers also cultivate various vegetables.

The intertwined challenges of water scarcity and agricultural impact underscore the pressing need for comprehensive solutions in Goshing.