Developing climate resilient communities through appropriate adaptation and mitigation interventions at Yagyur and Khengzor
Developing climate resilient communities through appropriate adaptation and mitigation interventions at Yagyur and Khengzor
Bhutan is undergoing rapid socio-economic changes which are primarily based on natural resources. These changes have an invariable impact on the land resources and thus, on the long-term societal welfare. In spite of the strong environmental conservation policy being enforced, because of the fragile nature of the landscape, land degradation continues to be an environmental threat. Bhutan records a huge number of cases of soil degradation in the form of different natural calamities every year.
Bhutan is known to have abundant freshwater resources with per capita availability of 94,508 cubic meters per person annually, one of the highest in the region but access to reliable water supply is still a key challenge in many parts of the country.

Therefore, addressing the challenge poised to this basic amenity has become a priority for all the concerned stakeholders.
This project aims at achieving : increased discharge of springs and the duration of discharge to mitigate water scarcity in these two villages during lean season, enhance availability of water for domestic and agricultural purpose, reducing waterborne diseases and providing safe drinking water. It also aims to address the issues of drying up of water sources through the replication and implementation of the best practices that the Foundation has implemented in the past years.

The project also aims to increase the productivity of the people through the construction of modern cost effective installations of solar/ electric fencing to combat human wildlife conflicts and ensure food security.

The protection of water sources through protecting recharge area, planting of native species and water adding plants which will replenish groundwater, and fencing to avoid and construction of additional reservoir tanks for proper storage and distribution .

The selected site for this project is Yagyur and Khengzor villages under Khar gewog, Pemagatshel Dzongkhag. Khar gewog has an area of 135.74 square kilometers sharing borders with Dungmaed, Chongshing and Choekhorling gewogs. The Gewog consist of 5 chiwogs namely Khar-Yagyur, Khengzor-Labar, Shinangri, Bongmaan and Nagtseri-Tsebar. It has a population of about 3960 with 453 households in the 14 villages.

Yagyur village shares its border with Bongman and Khar Chiwog in the North and Nagtseri Chiwog in the West and Chokhorling Gewog in the South, and is about 2km from Gewog centre. The village consists of 18 households and has a population of 110. Khengzor village shares its border with Bongman and Khar Chiwog in the North and Nagtseri Chiwog in the West and Chokhorling Gewog in the South, and is about 8km from Gewog centre. The village consists of 30 households and a population of about 150 Male 65 and Female 85.

Current Situation
Maize is the main crop cultivated by these two villages besides potato,chillies,peas,garlic,and other crops. Cardamom and oranges are also grown as the main cash crop despite the water issues which hampers the production capacity. Agriculture Farming dominates the major economic activity in these two villages. The village also has one community forest combined with Khar chiwog.

Key Issues & Potentials

The major challenges faced by the farmers in the selected sites are : water shortages and human- wildlife conflict both impeding the sustainability of food production and agriculture farming. Their water sources are drying up and they currently don't have proper pipe lines in place, secure water storage tanks with high capacity and the management skills. Water pipelines and the sources get damaged during the farm road constructions and no effort is made to reinstate the connections and disruption in the water flow. The existing water source is almost about 5km away from the village and it is insufficient for these two communities. A water management programme can address most of these issues and ensure the communities with better access to water supply.Heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, and the farm road constructions have changed the alignment of the land. The communities are concerned with not having enough stable land to cultivate. Sustainable land management programme will address the above issues in making the land stable and cultivable thereby increasing the production capacity of the communities.

The village has the potential to grow potatoes, garlic, cardamom and oranges on a larger scale and even temperate fruits can also be grown provided water is available for cultivation.

Despite implementing various strategies, human wildlife conflict continues to be a major problem for the farmers. The villagers said that the frequency and severity of the conflict has increased causing serious negative impact, loss of income and reduced food security. The farmers till date used age-old practices of moving around the field and shouting to guard their crops both during day and at night. These tedious methods did not prove to be effective and the crop cultivation area is decreasing due to labor shortage. The farmers feel that solar/ electric fencing will help in reduction of crop damages and loss, thereby increasing their food security.

The Foundation over the years, have been consistently receiving numerous reports of acute water shortages and drying of sources in most these remote villages. As water plays an irreplaceable role for their livelihood and survival, the Foundation facilitates in ensuring the communities receive all the interventions needed. There are numerous factors contributing such as:
? Increase in household number is inevitable thus the demand for water increases greatly. Additional constructions of water tanks have proven to address the immediate need and through the source protection and plantation of native species and removal of alien species, the long term effect.
? Drying of water sources has also resulted in conflicts among the community members which the Foundation aims to build through public consultations and Self Help Group formations.
? Observations were also made on the poor water management and utilization which has amplified water stress.
? The geographic locations of these villages are also on steep gradients and on higher elevations which makes it impossible to tap water from the low lying rivers and prone to land degradations and disasters. Haphazard constructions of farm roads has also led to disturbance of the water table and loss of farmland to landslides and erosions
? Human Wildlife conflicts are reportedly increasing according to our field officers. The effects it has is not only limited to the crops but on the lives of the farmers such as attacks by bears and other wildlife in north and south of Bhutan.
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Project Snapshot

Tarayana Foundation
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 45,900.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 5,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 18,727.00
Project Number:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
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Grantee Contact

Miss Sonam - Pem
Phone: +97517638857


Tarayana Foundation
Thimphu , Western Bhutan , PO Box 2003



SGP Country office contact

Mr. Tenzin Wangchuk
Mr. Tshering Phuntsho
009752322424 (ext:330)


UN House, Peling Lam (Street), Kawajangsa, Thimphu, P.O. Box No. 162
Thimphu, Bhutan, 11001