Sunday, February 22, 2015

Feb 6th, 2015

It’s been three weeks since departure. These days, I flip between feeling like I just arrived yesterday and feeling like I’ve never left.  It’s always a bit of a transition uprooting yourself from everything you grew up with and returning to a place that has become your second home.  I have quickly been reminded of the heat, which I instantly forgot as soon as I left Tanzania last time.  Arriving here at the end of January, the middle of the dry season, is as much of a shock as arriving in Winnipeg in at the end of January.  Both places tend to be in the middle of the worst weather mother nature can throw at them. 

Since I’ve been here in Shirati, I have yet to see the rain fall.  Apparently the last rain drop fell sometime in December.  As always, water continues to be an ongoing issue.  I heard that Winnipeg has a bit of an issue with water recently.  I thought I’d share a bit more about our water situation here in Shirati. 

In 10 years of coming to Tanzania, the water struggle continues to baffle me.  Only in Tanzania can you live 3 kms from the second largest fresh water lake in the world and still struggle with water every single day.  We have a water tap in our yard but that does little to provide us with water security.  The town’s main water system provides each neighborhood of the small town of Shirati with water on a rotating basis.  However, that rotation quickly comes to a halt when the pumps break, which sadly, is very often.  When water does come, “make hay when the sunshines” takes on a whole new meaning.  We fill every bucket in site and hope that it lasts until the next water supply.  Sadly, our neighbours are much less fortunate.  Despite being able to see the lake from their houses, the water is no closer to reaching their homes then if it lake was miles away. It definitely makes you question the government’s actions  or rather lack of action.  Water is the basis of life and all living things and yet so many people here struggle to access it.  And in this case, we’re not even talking about having running water in their homes or even having access to clean, safe drinking water.  We’re simply talking easy access to water… any kind of water.  It’s crazy. I know I’ve talked about this in the past but in the 10 years that I’ve been coming here, it makes me sad to see that a sustainable solutions contines to be out of reach. Hopefully after 20 years of coming here, this will no longer be a blog topic.  Definitely makes boiling your water for a couple of days seem like a privilege, eh? :)