Agriculture: Scarcity of water has forced the villagers in Shokhang in Yangnyer gewog, Trashigang, to do away with paddy cultivation as water became scarce.

Even potato cultivation is witnessing a drop, Shokang tshogpa Seldon said.

“Water isn’t enough even for kitchen gardening. We have to keep buckets and pots filled with water at all times,” she said.

Around 105 households from the two chiwogs of Lephu and Shokang under Yangnyer gewog, Trashigang are facing drinking water shortage.

The two chiwogs share a common water source located near Tektekpa, which is about 18km from Shokang. The source first supplies water to villagers in Shokang and it trickles when it reaches Lephu. However, water at the source started to dry since last three years.

Pema Chophel, a villager said maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in the village has become difficult without water.“

Without proper hygiene, villagers and children remain vulnerable to diseases,” he said. The water shortage, he said has also affected farming and livestock activities.

Lephu tshogpa Dawa Tashi said that water woes of villagers are aggravating by the year.

“During summer, erosions and landslides frequently block the source. Given the distance, it takes one whole day to fix it,” he said. In winter, water shortage becomes severe. “Villagers don’t get water for days.”

Yangnyer Gup Karma said the gewog has proposed for the construction of a larger water tank at the existing water source, which could begin within the next financial year.

“The only solution for now would be to protect the source and revive it,” he said. Recently, a forestry team has visited the site for inspection.

However, tshogpa Seldon said even if a larger tank is constructed, water level would still remain the same. “The existing water source is likely to dry up in near future,” she said.

Another option, she said is to source the stream flowing between Ngambinang and Pangthang for Sokhang and Rolong river for Lephu.

Tshering Wangd |  Trashigang