Sunday, July 02, 2006

Water shortage...

Last Wednesday we received a phone call from our landlord warning us that there would be a water shortage in Freetown. Guma Valley – the main water supplier – decided to shut off all water supply to the Freetown area as of Thursday morning, for three days. No reason was given. It is now Sunday evening, and there is still no water coming out of most taps in Freetown.

Our first response was to find every bucket, tub, water bottle etc. we could find and fill it up before the supply was cut off. I quickly told my staff the news so that they could phone their families and ask them to collect water at home. However, in some places in Freetown, it was too late, the taps were already dry. The people were given no warning.

Fortunately we have big tanks at the center and at the house. Also it does seem like we have had some water coming in to one of our water tanks. However, for many of our staff, there is no water. They now have to walk miles to get water from a stream. One of the ladies said to me today that after drinking the stream water her stomach hurt and so she is now boiling the water. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Unfortunately many people in Freetown are now relying on unclean water sources for their drinking water. And many of them do not know the consequences that this can have. I am sure lives will be lost as a consequence of the water shortage. Just the fact that diarrheal disease is one of the top 5 killers of children under 5 years of age says enough.

What can I do? What can I say? I just hope that someone takes action quickly. I have a health task force meeting this Wednesday at the Ministry of Health and will definitely look for some answers/explanations there. I will keep you posted.

No comments:

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~