Tokarongpas in Samdrup Jongkhar come together to revive dried-up lake for the future

Many people across the country, for various reasons, are taking up efforts to revive dried-up or drying lakes. Villagers of Tokarong in Samdrup Jongkhar have also joined in and for them, it is not just about preserving the environment but also to prepare for the future. The lake had been left abandoned for more than four decades.

The people of Tokarong have been working on the dried-up Leminang Tsho for the past one week.

Located about an hour’s walk from Tokarong, local residents say the lake used to be a water source for cow herders of Orong and Gomdar gewogs in the past.

The villagers also used to offer prayers at the lake but all this slowly disappeared and the lake was forgotten leading to its decline.

“Our time is almost over, but we are reviving the lake for our children. In the future, if all the water sources dry up, we can use this lake as our new water source in future,” said Wang Gyelpo, a villager.

“We are reviving the lake so that it will bring harmony in the community,” said Shacha Tenzin, the Lam of the Druk Sharcho Thermi Tshamkhang Tewa.

“It will be difficult for us if the current water sources dry up. So this lake can be alternative source of water for the village in case the current source dries up,” said Nomo, a villager.

As part of the work, the villagers clear and clean the lake area of mud and tree leaves.

Meanwhile, some villagers are hopeful the lake will also help promote tourism in the area.

“In the future, after the lake is restored, we may also see tourists coming here to visit the lake and this would benefit the community economically,” says Nawang Tenzin.

Another villager, Metshi Wangdi said, “I think local tourists will come here to see the lake, so that could help us earn some income.”

And their efforts have already become visible. The recent showers have brought life to the once dried-up lake.

The villagers are now planning to construct walking trails and other recreational facilities along the lake.

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