Friday, March 26, 2010

Life's Precious Resource

Grahamstown has run out of water....

You never realize how fortunate you are to never have to worry about losing something that you depend on and use everyday until it is gone. South Africa has been in a drought for many years. Many rivers are dry and farmers are struggling to keep their crops alive.

You cannot drink out of the tap here. The only water I drink is either from the store or the spring. Diana and I have been saving our water jugs we buy so that we can fill them at the spring. I also save my water bottles and fill them at the school I teach at because they have filtered water. Going to the spring is quite an experience. Since Grahamstown water has been deemed "poisonous" to drink, everyone depends on spring water. Last weekend we waited in line for an hour and a half to fill 3 water jugs.

Yesterday morning, Grahamstown ran out of water. The drain that pumps outside water into the reservoir apparantly broke so no water was going into the reservoir. That means no shower, no washing clothes, no washing dishes, etc...

One of the teachers at my school asked how often this happened back in the U.S. My answer: well never. How fortunate are we to always have fresh clean water? For me, water restrictions means not being able to water your lawn everyday. Here in South Africa it means all water being shut off to your house for days.

So often in life we take for granted the things we have everyday. We don't a "right" to clean water in our homes. We are privileged. We are fortunate. Next time you enjoy safe water from the tap think of those who must walk a mile from the townships just to fetch clean water. Then have to haul it all the way back home. With no car, but maybe a wheelbarrow if you are lucky.

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