Mokokchung, a town striving towards 150 years of existence, is facing a severe water crisis, as detailed in the Vision Mokokchung 2040 document highlighting alarming shortages and their potential impact on the town’s dwellers.
According to information from the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), during lean seasons, the department can only supply around 80,000 liters of water per day. Compounding the issue, several dozen pickup trucks, each carrying 2,000 liters of water, engage in brisk business during dry seasons, making multiple deliveries to meet the escalating demand.
The World Health Organization (WHO) specifies a basic survival water requirement of 20 liters per person per day. However, with a population of 35,000, the current public water supply of 80,000 liters barely covers 11% of the survival level. Factoring in the needs for washing, cleaning, and sanitation raises the requirement to 70 liters per person per day, leaving the present supply meeting only 3.30% of the overall requirement.
Also Read: Vision Mokokchung 2040: Lanukaba Imchen’s proposal for capitalizing on Rs 23.4 Cr pork market in Mokokchung Town
The critical water shortfall is having a direct impact on the sanitation, health, and education of Mokokchung’s citizens. Experts suggest that a comprehensive research study is necessary to assess the profound effects of water scarcity on fertility, health, and education.
The Vision Mokokchung 2030 document, while acknowledging the challenge, identifies potential sources to address the water requirements of the town and its surrounding areas/villages. Notably, Angetyongpang has a capacity of 0.80 lakh liters per day, while Tichipami boasts an impressive 12-15 lakh liters per day.
The document also highlights the Dikhu River as a perennial source of water, potentially providing more than sufficient water for the town, even during lean periods. However, the hurdle lies in the cost of pumping, and the document suggests exploring a public-private partnership (PPP) mode, learning from previous failures. For this to materialize, a viable revenue model for water supply and distribution needs thorough examination.
Notably, Angetyongpang serves as the sole gravity-based water supply source to Mokokchung. The document emphasizes the preservation of the Minkong forest, which feeds Angetyongpang. If not conserved, this vital source could dry up, posing a direct threat to the town’s survival. Collaborative efforts with Tichipami village for forest conservation in the Tichipami water source catchment area were deemed essential.