Monday, 9 February 2009

Water, water everywhere and not a drop for washing!

Loads seem to have gone a lot lighter since we made a decision to move, Arturo has suddenly been offered more hours of work, the sun has started to shine, I'm dancing again and poor we may be...but happy we are. I am sufficiently pessimistic to think that things probably only seem to be improving because we are in fact leaving, and so for, I'm not thinking permanent survival at the moment. Perhaps I'm just thing where's our water??

I've been trying to potty train Emilia since the first week she was born, some successful but I think the time has come for some serious action, we have half a tank of water, and in my calculations, along with other stuff like pots and bathroom, thats probably enough to wash about another 2 days of nappies before we're completely buggered, if not very smelly.

Any normal person would probably just think, I'll pay my bill and water shall be forthcoming, that is I suppose if that normal person lived in a normal place! Bills are paid, by about just everyone in the city, what it seems is, its the local government who haven't got the cash. Having failed to switch on the radio over the last few days I'm a bit late catching on, when water doesn't arrive for a day or two I don't usually question it, here its quite normal. Now I find out that it will be more than just a few days, as the local government haven't paid the energy bill for the water pumps, the water company have basically switched the whole town off. Once more the big dudes play naughty and the little people suffer.

Why (or should) something that falls from the sky and gets swished around our dwellings, generally keeping us and our environments alive treated as a more valuable commodity than gold?? Or in fact human life in the case that without it, cleaning cannot be done, diseases get spread, the easily treatable ones live on, babies and weaker adults die etc etc. Lets forget about the importance of actually drinking the stuff, as in Chiapas if you did that you'd probably die or get a nasty illness if you did that anyway. Of course if you've got the cash you can buy a tank of water from a private company, schools, hospital and other people without that cash, well, we just go dirty. Thats for the unbottled sort I'm talking about, as far as we know.... and personally much as I love my baby, I can't afford to bath her in Evian!!!

That water falls from the sky is often taken for granted, attention more recently drawn to this earthly marvel via the damage to our world eco system and the highlighted dangers of climate change. However, we tend to pay less attention to the water that flows magically out of the tap at home, and more to the point, to the quantities we use. I never had a water metre in England, so it was certainly never much of a consideration of mine. I was constantly amused by the British govt. obsession with hosepipe bans if it fails to rain for 2 days in the summer. Also, the urban myths about water companies hiding water in higher reservoirs, never being proved but generally believed by conspiracy theorist such as myself. Whatever the point I’m trying to make, water just seems to always well…. be there.

Its only when I came to live in Chiapas, where water supply is often sporadic due to bad service, dodgy government or just plain mystery, did quantity and use become an issue. Whether its stuck in the 40 degree humidity of the capital city unable to shower, or, with a pile of dirty nappies and a house and baby to keep clean in the cooler highlands, lack of water is a big issue; especially when one is expected to use a chunk of the monthly income paying for the supposed delivery of it. When the sacred wet stuff doesn’t arrive, at the fault of the powers that be, I really start to count the drops. 20 litre bucket to wash an adult body, 3x 20 litre buckets to wash a weeks worth of dirty clothes (adult), 4x 20litre bucket to wash 2 days worth of nappies... just in case you were interested.

The other really big question around town is WHY haven't the local government paid the energy bill, where's all the money gone?? :0 Was it there in the first place?

I can't help feeling that this is a knock on effect from ths aparrent world cash crisis and global funding being pulled away from developing countries. Are lack of subsidies and aid begining to uncover what politicians have actually done with town budgets??? HHHmm like have nice big houses, lovely holidays and lots of other stuff trafficked through the country... maybe I've just sen two many films.....

We're currently on about 5 days since the last public water delivery... things may soon start to get very smelly!!!