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April 13, 2012

Like everyone I know, I like my conveniences and complain when I do not have them.  I have written about the electricity being off for hours, and the water going off for hours –this week it seems to go off for 10 minutes at a time several times a day.  I don’t have hot water in my new casa and while it is not what we would call cold it is certainly not hot.  Sometimes you like a hot shower and I would prefer to wash my dishes (which I have to do by hand) in hot water.

What if you had NO water?  My teacher, Flavia, lives in Masaya, the town about 20 minutes from Granada and yesterday she told me about the lack of water in her barrio (neighborhood). She is a secondary school teacher so she is educated, is married with three children (14, 9, 6).  She lives a little ways out of the central area of Masaya but still within the city.  They only get water in their home every OTHER day.  Usually, every other day but sometimes it can be longer.  And it is not all day but sometime during the day or during the night.

So how do they manage?  They have a barrel about three feet tall by two feet wide and they fill it with water when it is on. She said they are lucky because they have a hose, but many people do not and they have to use a bucket to fill their barrel (if they have a barrel-they are expensive).  Then when they need water later on they use the bucket to dip into the barrel and use it for washing, cooking, bathing, etc.

Her house is on a little bit of a hill so she gets water later than the people who are lower and sometimes it is just a trickle of water. Flavia told me she sets her cell phone (they are prepaid and everyone has them) as an alarm so she can get up in the night to fill up. She always looks clean and neat as does most everyone here.

She told me that some people who live even further away from the center of town get water less frequently and once they went a month with no water and had to buy a barrel of water.  This is not only in Masaya, it is true in Granada and many other places as well.  She tutors me in my house and she asked my maid, Maria, if this was true here and Maria said yes. Her mother lives in a place where they do not get water every day either.  My new house is only three blocks from the center which I realize is a very good thing.

Frequently you see water in the gutters and I am told that many areas do not have sewers so they throw their dirty water in the street.  Not from the toilet, that is a different system. Most toilets are in the house and some systems are like septic tanks and some are like latrines. The water in the street is from dishes, cooking, laundry etc. because there is no way to get rid of it through pipes.

I have read how clean water is a huge problem in the world and now I understand it much more clearly. Lack of it makes life so much harder and less healthy.


From → Granada

One Comment
  1. Harry permalink

    Good stuff! Glad your back to writing again. Harry


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