Thursday 2 June 2016

Water Shortage

There is a water shortage in some parts of Freetown at the moment, our area included.

When I met up with Jan and Nancy at Gatwick airport a few weeks ago to travel to Freetown together they asked if there is a shower in their rooms – there most certainly is a shower but unfortunately there has been no water since we arrived and the well is dry. (well, in Jan’s room it’s more of a tap sticking out of the wall but it does usually have running water in it).

A few of our containers for collecting water
I have two big water tanks in my compound that collect rainwater, one feeds the house and the other is for general compound use. We have had two big storms since we arrived during which the tanks collected enough water for a couple of very welcome showers but apart from that it’s been bucket washes all round and as I type the tanks are empty again. Usually when the tanks are empty we can top them up from the well, but with the well being dry at the moment that’s not an option.

Every couple of days my security go with all the water containers they can find and queue at a local stand pipe to fetch water. We have to ration the water we are using for washing and flushing.

Usually we would have enough water to last us through the dry season but unfortunately a few months ago a visitor accidently left a tap open and we lost 1000’s of litres of water in one day – it’s now that we are suffering from that mistake.

Jan and Nancy have been great and just get on with things without grumbling, they soon got used to using the buckets – but I’m sure they’ll be pleased if we get a couple of nights of rain to top the tanks up.

Some of our drinking water supply
For drinking water I get bagged water which, until the tanks are topped up, we are also using to boil for tea and coffee. 20 bags of water which contain between 250ml and 500ml cost around 35p, the same price as just one small 500ml bottle of water – you can see why I chose to buy the bags, they work out to less than 2p each!!!

It feels like a storm might be on the way, the temperature has dropped a little and there is lightening in the sky so it might be our lucky night.

I will try to remember to never again take water for granted.