For residents of Samdrup Jongkhar Thromde, the water crisis is as old as the hills. They have been grappling with water shortage for more than a decade now. And the problem is mainly due to the poor water distribution channel. The water distribution pipes are all old and leaky.
With water taps remaining dry for nearly a week, the residents are forced to store water in containers. Most of them hardly receive 30 minutes to an hour of water supply daily.
“We have to store water in drums and buckets. We use it when we don’t receive water for two to three days. I make it a point to store whatever little water we receive,” said Pemo Bhutia, a resident of thromde.
“I receive water for only an hour and it is not enough to wash and use in the toilets. When we don’t get water, we go and collect it from the nearby streams. It is difficult without water,” said Jigme Choden, another resident.
Water is supplied from the water treatment plant which is located four kilometres away from Samdrup Jongkhar town. It supplies about two million litres of water daily. But most of the water is lost with leakage of pipes and old water distribution channels.
“We have enough water, but all the water distribution pipes from the reservoir to the storage tank are old and most of the water is lost through leakages. However, the construction of a new water distribution network is going on and we are planning to complete it as soon as possible,” said Samdrup Jongkhar Thrompon, Thinley Namgay.
However, Thrompon added that the water shortage will be solved within his tenure.
“We need to look for a good water source. Currently, the water source is at Pinchhina and it is located at the lowest point, when it rains the water source gets washed away by landslides and floods. Right now, the water source is not good. So, it is important to look for another water source,” added the Thrompon.
The Thromde administration plans to complete the construction of the new water distribution channel by mid of next year. The construction is expected to cost around Nu 137 M.
The Thromde supplies water in tankers to the residents to solve the water shortage. There are more than 7,000 people in Samdrup Jongkhar Thromde.
Kinley Wangchuk, Samdrup Jongkhar
Edited by Sonam Pem
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