Clean Water

A watertank under construction

Day 13: Collecting samples, attempt no. 2

*Sigh* Well, I suppose yesterday went so well in most ways that we shouldn't be too annoyed about the water quality testing results. We went to examine them this morning, interested to see how the results - well, we forgot to switch the incubator on yesterday. So, no results, just a load of dead samples. Fortunanely we have the morning free before we're meeting the commitee again, but we have lots of other work to be getting on with; we decided the most efficient use of our time would be to split up. I set out to go and collect another set of samples, from the same taps as yesterday. Hoping I could remember the way, I set off. It wasn't particularly hard work, but it did mean a good 4 hours of walking, in the heat and carrying the equipment. I wasn't relishing the task, more because of the frustration of doing something that shouldn't have been necessary; but actually in the end, I rather enjoyed it. I had a hat and plenty of water, so the sun was just about bearable; it gave me chance to talk to people in the village too.

In the afternoon, we were shown round the 'core' of the village, the compounds nearest the centre, and introduced to a cross-section of the community so we could carry out slightly more structured interviews. We met a varied selection of people: an old man, who refused to contribute to community efforts to manitain the supply; a single woman with her child; a couple of leaders from the traditional council; and a meeting at the Njangi house. This is usually translated as 'secret society', but I don't think it has the connotations that that phrase would have in English - I think 'men's community forum' would be a better description (there is a separate society for women). This last meeting developed into a long discussion between the water management committee and some of the traditional rulers, of which we could only follow a fraction. By the time we'd finished there, night had fallen and we made our way back to our house.

Day 14: Leaving Djottin, back to Kumbo

© Aidan Reilly 2013