High and Dry

26th February 2019

Life has been quite challenging over the past few days with the water supply in our Bakau area becoming erratic and then completely non-existent since about three days ago. So it’s back to filling up buckets and hauling water through to the bathroom and kitchen, washing dishes with a limited amount of water and rationing the water available for baths.

Paul and I find it very demoralising during the course of the week but weekends are much better because we don’t have to get into work at a particular time and life is that much more relaxed.

Rai checking out our mains tap for the nth time!

As I have mentioned in my posts written in November, the lack of water is the only reason that we might re-consider our decision to remain in The Gambia. So I guess it’s a good thing that Paul’s sister and her husband have decided to seize the day and visit us here at the beginning of March. We may very well not be here much longer if the water situation spirals out of control as it did in November when our area had no water from the mains for a whole month (due apparently to what locals here call ‘vandalism’ – although we have no idea what exactly they mean by that since we have not seen any evidence of people having dug up pipelines for the sheer heck of it!

Although Paul and William have had to deal with Board members and the management as well as parents, for me the only thing that ever gets me down is the lack of running water in the house. So I’m not very happy right now and am hoping against hope that the water supply from NAWEC will be re-established soon.

William has been simply brilliant being ever so supportive and sharing excellent advice about how to ensure a steady water supply by obtaining another water tank and two much more powerful water pumps (since our water pump broke about two weeks ago). We were thrilled when the pumps filled up our water tank within minutes the last time we had water from the mains! That was a few days ago but since then we have not got any water from the mains so the two water tanks stand absolutely empty now.

Two empty 1000 litre tanks in our backyard – all dressed up but nowhere to go!

They actually remind us of seeing parents coming to drop off and pick up their children from school because they’re all dressed to the nines. Paul and I laugh about it saying ‘All dressed up and nowhere to go!’ (which is a reference to the fact that The Gambia has very little in the form of entertainment – i.e. – no cinemas, theatres, museums or art exhibitions etc).

However, this bunch of happy high schoolers keep me going when life gets me down with the severe lack of water.

These are some of my Form 4 students who are taking English as a Second Language for their IGCSEs. They are mostly Gambian with the exception of one west African (Nigerian) and one Lebanese student.

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