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Erratic water supply forces Kuenzangling residents in Samtse to drink water from an old well

Due to erratic water supply, residents of Kuenzangling village of Yoeseltse Gewog in Samtse are resorting to drinking water from an old well. Residents say the one-hour water supply that they get in a day is not enough. They want a permanent solution to the never-ending water problem in the village.

It is about 7 in the morning. 35-year-old Sonam Norbu is already up and busy filling his water containers. With time running out, he is rushing to fill up the containers.

With water running slow from the tap, Sonam has no other option than to wait patiently. It takes about 10 minutes just to fill up a 25-litre jerry can.

He manages to fill up almost all his water containers. But he says it is not enough.

“We have a severe water problem here in our village. We get only one hour of water supply in a day that too from 7 am till 8 am. For a farmer like us, the water supply is not enough,” said Sonam Norbu, a resident.

Like many of the Kuenzangling residents, Sonam also owns a small jersey farm. And he says the irregular water supply is also hampering them in keeping their jersey cows clean and hygienic.

“I have about 3 jersey cows and I need to wash the shelter twice a day. For that, I need enough water. Moreover, we also need water to prepare their food. The current supply of water is not at all enough for us,” said Sonam Norbu.

To help solve the water problem, Sonam along with two of his neighbours have started collecting water from an old well which was dug about 15 years ago by their parents.

“For now, we have installed a water pump machine in the well and we are pulling water from it for consumption and other purposes. The water that we get from the gewog is not enough because, with time, we have seen an increasing number of households coming up in our village,” said Cheten Wangmo, a resident.

“A few of the houses don’t even get water for half an hour. The water that we get is barely enough for us. When we don’t get water, we pull it from the old well that we have in our village. It has been more than two years that we have been relying on water collected from the well,” said Pelden Zangmo, another resident.

But with time, the water in the well is also drying up, worrying the residents further.

Most of the residents say the only solution to their problem is if a major scheme like the Desuung Water Project comes to their village.

“I think the water problem in our village can now only be solved with the introduction of Desuung Water Project. We would be very grateful if we can get a water project in our village like other districts,” said Sonam Norbu.

According to the Yoeseltse Gewog Administration, almost every village in Yoeseltse, today, is struggling with the erratic supply of water. The gewog administration, however, assured that they are planning to solve the water issue soon. Kuenzangling village today has about 60 households.

Passang Dorji, Samtse

Edited by Kipchu