Rain Water harvesting
Despite very heavy monsoon rains (about 5,300mm from May to September) Samdrup Jongkhar region faces a chronic and increasingly severe water problem. In the winter months, water supply is unpredictable due to sources drying up and/or damage of supply lines, while the heavy summer monsoon rains frequently wash away the pipes. Water shortages also create serious hygiene problems, with school students for example unable to clean toilets or wash their hands.
In 2014, SJI and the Centre for Appropriate Technology at Jigme Namgyel Engineering College worked together to:
- Design and install three rainwater harvesting units in three toilet blocks at Dewathang Primary School (DPS), with the principal, teachers and students joining SJI staff and JNP students in the installation (picture below).
- Install two additional rainwater harvesting units at Chokyi Gyatso Institute.
- Produce a brochure and logo (below) and lead discussions to explain and promote rainwater harvesting and its hygiene benefits.
Collecting and bringing water to the school to clean the toilets used to be a daily requirement for the Dewathang school children, who can now focus more on their studies, while the rainwater harvesting units help ensure the toilets are always clean.