21 May 2012

Losing Drinking Water for Lemon Grass Oil

I am watching the people of Mongar struggling for drinking water on BBS and asking to myself- has the time come already? By any logic Bhutan should be the last country worrying about drinking water given the bounty of our forest resources, but we are already losing so many water sources across the country.
With so many fresh water rivers flowing down the valley the world must think we are crazy to complain about water shortage of all the things- we are forgetting the moral of Kuchu&Kumbu story ourselves. But the question is not about going down to the rivers yet, we have been blessed with so many spring water sources running down our hills which we forgot to value so much so far.
Kuensel Photo
As I watch the people of Mongar running with their empty buckets and complaining I remembered the countless forest fires this Dzongkhag had over the last many years- of which many were deliberate. Mongar was blessed with lemon grass, the herb that adds scent to many cosmetic and toiletry items in the international market. And because it generates good income the forest was deliberately set on fire every year for the greed of better lemon grass growth, but those many fires are finally charging their interest- Mongar is now paying the huge price, they had traded they fresh water sources with lemon grass oil.

This Article is not supported with any research and therefore please treat it as an opinion.


  1. Insightful...thought provoking...

  2. Au Passu,

    I am reminded of such an unsustainable acts (blunders) made by our fellowmen. When was just a kid back in 1990s, I remember, I accompanied my father in the forest to collect resins. Abstraction of resins had cost fortune to my village when we lost hundreds of pine trees in 1996 windstorm. Resin harvest do not only weakens the health of a live tree but also fuels the wild raging fires.

    And, now, the upper Mongarpas are enjoying the porridge they cooked. Sooner the Yadi, Drametse, Chaskar & Rolong people see the water crisis.

  3. This is really a bad news.
    Which part of Mongar is it Sir? Cz I am from Mongar and it is starting to worry me despite the fact that I can't do anything....

    1. It's the Mongar Town that I saw on TV. Dont worry, it may not be so bad. I think the problem could be solved for now, but Mongar should realize that they could survive without lemon grass, but not without water...

  4. We the Bhutanese are more theoretical than practical Yaz, good at preaching. Genius!!! Practically, we need to revisit our development strategies.


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