Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

Due to its strategic location, Tsirangtoed gewog serves as a centre for residents of neighbouring gewogs to avail health and education services.

 However, as the gewog’s water woes worsened in the past few months, according to residents, publi service delivery has been greatly hampered.

For more than a month, the 10-bedded hospital, which was completed in March this year, could not deliver health services due to acute water shortage.

Senior health assistant, Pema Khandu, said that with the opening of the new hospital, more patients came to avail services but due to water shortage, service delivery was disrupted. “We need water to maintain sanitation, infection control, lab tests, and ultrasound services.”

With the new hospital in the gewog, residents of three gewogs—Phuentenchhu, Sergithang, and Tsirangtoed—do not have to travel long distances to avail health services in Damphu.

Pema Khandu said that for the past month, temporary water connection was installed with the support of residents.

Another health worker said that it was inconvenient to work in such conditions.

A resident, San Man Subba, said that the water shortage has become acute; residents and Tsirangtoed Central School staff are transporting water on Bolero pickup trucks.

“Without water, there were delays in service delivery in the hospital,” he said.

Water shortage, he said, is severe in upper Sentabsa and Tsirangtoed chiwogs.

A lhakhang caretaker, Sonam Tshering, said that the residents have been collecting rainwater for consumption. For offerings in the monastery, he has to get it from his neighbours.  

“We got drinking water only once last month,” he said.

Tsirangtoed shares its water source with Puentenchu gewog.

Tsirangtoed Gup, Nandalal Kharel, said that although there are infrastructure and service centres in the gewog, everyone was helpless without water.

“There are 500 boarding students in the central school. Maintaining cleanliness is challenging for them,” he said.

He said that Pabkhola, which used to be a big river, is now a small stream. “The source is drying up.”

Residents, he said, are harvesting rain and getting water from ponds that are also drying up gradually.