Whenever there is a high-level official visiting Tsirangtoed, one of the top priority issues that the people raise is the acute drinking water shortage.
Officials assure that they will receive adequate water, but the assurance is forgotten soon after the officials leave, the villagers say.
This has been going on for almost five years. The water shortage has now become chronic in the village.
The shortage has particularly affected eight houses consisting of more than 40 families living adjacent to Tsirangtoed Central School.
During the visit of one of the Members of Parliament, an arrangement was made according to which the Central School would share water with the community. That has not happened so far, say the residents.
For this matter, the community and school authority often get into argument.
The story dates back to almost three decades. In 1980 the government had drawn drinking water from Paw River, almost 18km from Tsirangtoed. The water drawn from the river was first collected in a tank (Alay tank) and then supplied to Tsirangtoed Primary School (present central school). Over the years, the number of people increased.
Chairman of the water committee, Tshering Dorji, said that currently water collected at Alay tank through the old pipeline from Paw River is diverted in three directions. One outlet goes to the Central School, another to Burichhu village, and the third goes the residents of Tsirangtoed and Kapasey chiwog.
The water coming to Tsirangtoed and Kapasey gets shared with Soentabsa village on the way.
“When the water drawn from the source is already in small quantity, local line is shared on the way, when it reaches to us there is hardly any water,” Tshering Dorji said.
Tshering Dorji said that the water tapping system should to be modified. Instead of distributing water to households from the main pipeline, tanks should be constructed at certain intervals.
The school, however, gets a direct line from Alay tank. People requested that the overflowing water from the tank located inside the school campus be channelled to the tank belonging to the community, which is also located within the school campus.
“We’re just asking for the water that over flows,” Tshering Dorji said.
Tsirangtoed Central School’s principal, Yeshi, said that with the construction of additional structure going on at the school, there is barely enough water for the school. “I can’t say right now, but once the construction is completed, we might have excess water.”
According to records with the dzongkhag health sector, 97 percent of households in Tsirang dzongkhag are connected with pipe water supply. Of that, four percent are non-functional. There are a total of 4,456 households.
According to records, Tsirangtoed has 100 percent household water supply through the Rural Water Supply Scheme.
Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang