22 January 2009

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.

Mwamanongu Village water source, Tanzania. Image via WikipediaToday we had no running water at home from about 10am. The tap in our laundry has broken off at the pipe and was leaking water into the walls. Finding a plumber was a mission that took the rest of the day - everyone was either too busy or not answering the phone. Then, when I finally managed to get someone they couldn't fit us in until tomorrow morning.

I was getting all worked up about it when it struck me how lucky I am. 1 in 6 people worldwide don't have access to clean, safe drinking water.

I was thinking how inconvenient it would be with my two preschoolers, one of whom is still in nappies (cloth of course!). Each week there are 42,000 deaths caused by unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation, 90% of these are children under 5 years old.

I was feeling intensly annoyed at not being able to get a plumber to come until tomorrow. In Gaza pipes and other infrastructure could take up to 5 years to be restored after 15 days of Israeli bombardment.

I had a busy day going on around me and the idea of a 2 minute walk to the neighbours to fill up a container or two of water didn't hold much appeal.
Many people in the developing world walk more than three hours every day to fetch water.

Its so easy to forget the relative luxury we enjoy in the developed world.

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