Neten Dorji, | Trashigang
Never in her life did Yeshi Wangmo have so much water. Until a few weeks ago, she was ferrying water in containers on her back from a nearby pond.
Villagers from the four chiwogs under Uzorong gewog in Trashigang said that was how they used to ferry water most of their lives.
However, today the villagers have put such drudgery behind them. The completion of a drinking water project has reached water at their doorsteps. They have a happy story to tell now.
“Our struggle for a safe and clean drinking water is finally over,” said Yeshi Wangmo.
She never thought that the water shortage in her village would be addressed in her lifetime. “My generation lived a difficult life struggling for things as basic as drinking water. Now our younger generation need not suffer like us,” said the 82-year-old.
Sourcing the water from about 27 kilometres away from the gewog, de-suups constructed around 13 tanks and the supply lines. The initial cost of the project was 9.952 million. However, the project cost escalated to Nu 28.458M.
The water project was handed over to the gewog administration a month ago.
The government undertook several water projects to solve the acute water shortage in Udzorong, but the problem persisted.
Another resident, Tshomo who lives in the lower parts of Barkazor said they would waste so much time carrying it.
“We had to fetch water more than three times a day for household consumption. We struggled daily to get water,” she said.
Most villages in Udzorong had been reeling under water shortage for more than three decades. Residents spent their whole lives with backaches from carrying water.
A villager, Tshewang Tobgay said he had to fetch water before the break of dawn. “But now, we do not have to worry about that. We can even use a flush toilet in our house. It has become easier to maintain hygiene and sanitation after the project completed.”
Most of the villagers had to suffer for a long time because of the insufficient water supply. “It took us a long time to solve the drinking water problem in Udzorong because the water source is far away and it was difficult to draw water distribution lines,” said a resident.
A farmer, Tobgay said, they are extremely happy with the new water supply. “We shall forever remain grateful to His Majesty for this kidu.”
Udzorong Gup Dorji Tshering said that villagers of Chhiya, Rizor-Yerchhilo, Barkazor-Maenkhar, and Bayepam chiwogs have benefitted from the project.
“To curb the misuse of water supply and for proper water management, the gewog has allocated Nu 1.6 million,” said the gup.
He said that the water supply will benefit 442 households with a population of around 2,210 people in four chiwogs in Udzorong.
“As the water reaches the doorsteps, we are providing a greenhouse to make vegetables self-sufficient,” he said.