Lakes are crucial to local ecosystems, providing wildlife habitat and enhancing biodiversity in the area. It is also a recreational spot for villagers. In Pema Gatshel, the people of Norbugang village are revitalizing Chongmashing Lake to replenish water sources and alleviate water scarcity.
This is Norbugang village in Norbugang Gewog. The dried-up Chongmashing Lake is located above the village. Villagers say the lake has been dried for a few centuries.
Monks conducted a smoke offering to appease the local deities and serkem. Following that, villagers began removing bushes and digging the loose topsoil in the dried lake area.
The locals are aware of the vital role the lake plays in recharging water sources, motivating their decision to undertake this revival effort.
“We are hoping to revive the water source, and we are also hoping to revive the lake like how it used to be in the past. This lake is located on the border of Norbugang village and the Royal Manas National Park,” said Khandu, Norbugang-Rinchenzor Tshogpa.
“We have an acute water shortage in the village. So, if this lake is revived successfully, it will benefit us with a better water source. In winter, we struggle with water shortage for almost four months,” said Leki Wangmo, a villager.
Lakes serve as natural reservoirs, storing water during rainy season and releasing it gradually in dry seasons.
This steady water supply year-round is what the people of Norbugang village aspire to achieve.
“The people of Nyingshingborang are happy as they have benefited after reviving a lake in their village. So, we are also hoping the same will happen in our village. People are hoping we will not have water shortage,” said Sherab Tenzin, a villager.
“This lake will not only benefit the people but will also serve as a watering hole for wild animals. Even when the lake was almost dry, most animals come here and drink water. If the lake is restored, it will benefit the entire ecosystem,” said Norbugang-Rinchenzor Tshogpa.
Over 50 villagers joined forces to revive the lake, with the remaining work scheduled for completion next month.
The Royal Manas National Park funded Chongmashing Lake revival in Norbugang.