While many dread rain in summer, monks of Yongla Riwo Pelbar Dargeycholing Goenpa in Pemagatshel wait for it.

To the monks, rainwater is their only source of drinking water. Monks store rainwater in jerry cans and containers after their main water source, which was located about a kilometre away in Rashori dried up in 2010.

Pemagatshel dratshang’s secretary, Pema Gyalpo, said monks face difficulties carrying water for offerings in the morning from Kelzangri, about a kilometre away. “Sometimes, local people volunteer to bring water.”

He said that during festivals and drupchens, monks spend time fetching water. The secretary also said that monks could not maintain basic hygiene because of lack of water.

The situation is, however, expected to change, as the dzongkhag will soon start work to provide water to the goenpa.

Assistant engineer, Karma Tenzin, said an area has been identified to built a reservoir. A tank to harvest rainwater would also be constructed.

Karma Tenzin said that they are planning to build an elevated water tank, where the underground tank will be used for the rainwater harvest and the upper tank will be used to store drinking water. “We have to work out the cost estimation.”

He explained that the water reserved in the upper tank would be used for the drinking purpose while the rainwater will be used for cleaning purposes.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Pemagatshel