This is our third day without running water. TIA (this is Africa) as we say. When you live here, you pretty much take these things in stride. Let’s just say service delivery is not the forte of many municipalities, so every now and again you turn on the tap and nothing comes out. Usually it’s resolved within a few hours, or a day.
Not this time. And the fact that they are sending tanker trucks full of water into town as an interim measure does not bode well. This may go on for awhile.
I’m very fortunate, because I have a supply of drinking water on hand, and there’s a swimming pool in the complex where we live. A couple of times a day, I’ve been walking down to the pool to fill a big bucket with water which I use to flush the toilet, only when absolutely necessary. On these walks, as I struggle with the heavy bucket, trying not to spill a drop, I’m reminded of a woman I met in South Sudan. She walked for miles every day, fetching water and carrying it back quite elegantly perched atop her head. I took a photo of her and it has become one of our most popular “Two Girls and an Elephant” paintings; Grace.
Those of us who are lucky enough to have access to clean water on demand tend to take it for granted, but we have to treat water like the precious resource it is. When the taps start to flow again, I will be taking my bucket into the shower with me, and using the water I collect to flush my toilet when necessary. We’re also looking into other ways we can harvest gray water and use it more efficiently. My husband has installed a pipe that will dump the rainwater that collects on our roof directly into the garden. All small steps, but in the right direction. Please consider what changes can you make to save water and help change attitudes about our most important resource.