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Project to make 15 villages climate resilient

In an effort to resolve water scarcity and reduce human wildlife conflicts, Tarayana Foundation would be implementing a project “Developing climate resilient communities through appropriate adaptation and mitigation interventions” in five dzongkhags from July this year.

The project would be implemented in 15 villages of Lhuentse, Mongar, Sarpang, Samtse, and Haa.

Tarayana’s project coordinator Jamyang Phuntsho said that incidences of water sources drying up are reported in rural areas. “Usually people place their priorities on developments such as farm roads. However, only while discussing issues, people talk about water shortage.”

The project also intends to help the communities continue activities which had been already implemented through the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) and Rural Economy Advancement Programme (REAP).

“This is for sustainability so that when a project is completed, the community continues with the activities,” Jamyang Phuntsho said.

Some of the interventions such as community mobilisation, training on watershed and land management, clearing of water sources, plantation of suitable plants around water sources to recharge the water table, installation of rain water harvesting tanks, and construction of water reservoir tanks would be undertaken.

The project is expected to complete by 2021.

The project coordinator said that wildlife do not just damage crops but also threaten lives. “The foundation plans on using electric fences to address this conflict.”

Apart from the construction of water reservoirs and installation of greenhouses, water user-groups are also formed, Jamyang Phuntsho said. “The foundation also aims to build community ownership.”

He said that seed money of about Nu 10,000 is provided initially for the maintenance of the fences in the community and members would continue to contribute an agreed amount.

Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment Conservation (BTFEC) has provided Nu 12 Million for the project. The agreement was signed on January 11 between BTFEC and the foundation.

Rinchen Zangmo

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