In line with the government’s pledge to supply 24/7 clean and safe drinking water, Gelephu Thromde handed over a newly dug borewell facility to the regional referral hospital yesterday.
The borewell will supplement the hospital’s existing water supply that is drawn from Passangchhu.
The hospital recently experienced acute water shortage when the pipelines supplying water to the hospital were damaged in an accident where a truck had fallen on the pipeline network.
Medical superintendent, Dr Dorji Tshering, said that the hospital in the past have faced major crisis in absence of a continuous supply of water. “Especially during monsoon when the supply lines are completely cut off, it compromises the provision of safe and quality health care.”
During the recent cutoff, the hospital used fire engines to supply additional water from nearby streams. However, officials said that it was not enough to carry out the routine clinical functions at the hospital.
It was learnt that the hospital used more than 30,000 litres of water on a daily basis. There are two reservoir tanks at the hospital measuring 60,000 litres each for treated and untreated water.
After the national referral hospital, Gelephu referral hospital sees the most patients in the country, with an annual increase rate of about 10 percent.
Dr Dorji Tshering said that water is an integral part of health care and hospitals cannot function without an uninterrupted water supply. “Besides the clinical aspects where water is essential, we need water to cook meals for patients and to cater to health staffs and attendants who reside in the hospital.”
He said that according to the World Health Organisation, a single surgery/delivery requires at least 100 litres of water.
With patients from six central dzongkhags being referred to Gelephu, he said that the borewell is guaranteed to help them all.
Gelephu Thrompon, Tikaram Kafley, said the borewell was provided on a priority basis. “We were worried that in times of water shortage, the quality of services at the hospital were compromised.”
The borewell with a capacity to pump in 300,000 litres of water every hour will not only cater to the hospital, but also to the nearby areas including the lower secondary school, thrompon said.
“Given the water shortage Gelephu Thromde faces especially during monsoon, we hope that borewell will address the problem,” he said.
Similar borewell would also be dug in Rabdelling demkhong in a few months, thrompon said.
There are eight borewells in Gelephu today.