Famous Semjong | Kuensel online
Choki wangmo | Tsirang
About 600 people from 72 families in Tsirang yesterday celebrated a major life transformation with the launch of the country’s first and largest integrated water supply pilot project. The water supply brings them drinking water and irrigates about 200 acres of farmland in Dangreygang chiwog of Semjong gewog.
Officials from His Majesty the King’s secretariat, government, DHI, dzongkhag and local government joined the people when Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering inaugurated the 28.24 million Nu project, which will be managed by local government.
The deeper significance of the event is that Semjong is the second pilot project executed under the De-Suung National Service Water Project initiated by His Majesty the King in 2020. About 50 de-suups, a mix of professionals qualified, class 10 and 12 students, and young people who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have been working as a closely coordinated team since November of last year to build the supply system in highly automated water.
His Majesty the King called on young Bhutanese to join the nation-building process amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Her Majesty highlighted the potential of young people to develop water supply projects, given the importance of a safe and reliable water supply for the people and the nation. About 3,500 de-suups have since been trained in water resource management and have completed 19 water supply projects, with eight more nearing completion, in the 20 dzongkhags.
Project coordinator Sonam Jamtsho explained that a 700,000 liter reservoir and integrated water intake and sand extrusion structures are being built with watershed protection and bioengineering work along pipeline and improved field application systems such as sprinkler and drip irrigation.
A key component of the project is an automation system to operate and monitor the project. Using the monitoring and control system developed by DRIVE (DHI Research and Innovation Venture Excellence) and the irrigation scheduling system developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF), the water supply system of Semjong is the first large-scale automated system where operator and users can remotely monitor tank water availability, network water flow, and control tank water in and out. towards agricultural land which is divided into eight distribution zones. Sensors and actuators were installed for real-time monitoring and control, which can be viewed through a web application developed for the project.
Gewog officials have been trained to operate the automated system, which will improve water use efficiency. The entire cloud-based system can be monitored and controlled from a mobile phone.
The villagers are visibly delighted and inspired. The farmers have formed the Dangreygang Kuenphen Water User Group and also plan to cultivate around 14 acres of land with winter vegetables. They are literally looking forward to new life by converting fallow land into farmland, especially for winter crops. The dzongkhag agriculture office launched a program to support the villagers of Dangreygang Chiwog through which varieties of vegetable seeds, young fruit trees, greenhouses and plastic mulch sheets were provided, with demonstrations on the use of new biological technologies.
Farmer Dorji says they will be grateful for the rest of their lives. Kubir Prasad, encouraged and hopeful like his neighbors, plans to work hard to earn the gift of the Throne. Rinchen Zangmo, 56, who moved to Dangreygang 15 years ago, said water shortages were a major problem for the community. It had become crippling in recent years and farmers could no longer grow their vegetables and cardamom.
The Prime Minister, who commended the de-suups for their dedication and hard work in the service of the people, awarded medals and certificates of appreciation to the de-suups who built the project under the command of Lt. Tshering Dorji of the RBA and technical supervision of the project engineer Tshering Wangchuk from Tsirang dzongkhag.
Tshering Wangchuk said he was worried at the start of the project. “But in the space of a year, I acquired different types of skills. I can now work on other projects, ”he said.
De-suup Pema Zangmo also plans to work on similar projects in the future. In the difficult process of lifting heavy loads and traveling long distances through thick forests, she gained experience in construction planning and the use of complex machinery and technology. “Young people should come forward to learn new skills,” she said.
The Prime Minister urged the population to take ownership of the project. He was optimistic that with the various initiatives underway in the country, Bhutan will develop expertise in water management and become a center of excellence.
“Her Majesty takes care of us,” said Rinchen Zangmo.