Clean Water

A watertank under construction

Day 21: Rain, glorious rain

Today, we had meetings with the water management committee, such as it is, and the wider community. We're becoming fairly used to these now, but each village has its own character which is interesting to see. Yesterday, the WMC suggested a 9am start for the first meeting and a 10am start for the second. Having become used to the timing here, I was rather sceptical about this working, but the WMC were fairly insistent, so we went along with it, which turned out to be a mistake: although a couple of people showed up shortly after 9, most of the committee didn't arrive until around 9.50. That's just the way things happen here.

The community meeting was fairly well attended, but we struggled to engage with people here in a way we hadn't in the other villages. There is a language barrier, and although more acute here than in some of the villages it's easier here than in, for example, Mbontsem. There's just a general lack of engagement, it seems; people aren't quite disinterested, but few people - with exceptions - seem greatly interested. We spoke to people about water supplies, answered a questions as well as we could about waterborne diseases and basic filtering methods, etc. Nothing was badly received, but the morning didn't seem to go that well, either. I blame the upcoming election, which people definitely seem more concerned with!

The rains have been easing off recently; however, we had a good heavy downpour in the afternoon. For once, I was very grateful for this: it meant a chance to fill up water bottles with clean, fresh rainwater. Not only does this mean we now have water to drink, it means for once we have clear, tasteless water: I'd forgotten how nice it is to drink water that doesn't taste like it belongs in a swimming pool!

Day 22: Election chaos

© Aidan Reilly 2013