Day 20

23 January 2017

 

Since recently many tears have been spread I'd like to talk about water and related services. Here almost no house has running water and people must fetch it from one of the wells of the town, paying the water keepers. Unless, like today, all wells are dry. So the only way is a walk into the jungle till a muddy pond. Then they store it into plastic barrels at home (the same operation is done almost every day). This water for foreigners is not drinkable unless we boil it first (like for the daily cup of Lipton yellow label tea in the morning). The water we drink instead is sterilized and stored into small plastic sachet: you cut a corner with your teeth and drink it. If you're lucky the taste is acceptable. But drinking is not the only use for water. To pee luckily it's easy: everywhere you want or, in the case of the school, in the urinal. They are two, male and female but the second one is used as a "shower". The water must be taken from the barrel with a bucket using then a small cup to wash yourself. No choice about the temperature ever, clearly. While if you need to go to the toilet you've two choices: the bushes or the toilet of the town, obviously paying the toilet guardian (how clean do you think it could be?), where it's even possible to flush the water. He also provides you the toilet paper: one "soft" page of a newspaper (don't ask me why these pages are written in an Eastern Europe language). Do I wash my hands then? Sure, but to do so I've to get back to the school. I even try to wash my hands before eating (simply pouring some water on them with a cup), the kids don't and they eat without cutlery. The same about the clothes: two buckets, first to soap, second to rewash them. After they never seem clean, at least with my skills. So here water is not something taken for granted nor so accessible to everybody, for example farmers here they don't irrigate fields during the dry season (now), forcing them to chose just some simple and autochthon cultivations. There could be many solutions, but like always they need money.

 

Copyright © 2016 Davide Ronfini.

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