Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cholera Water

The biggest challenge I have had so far in Chad has been dealing with water.  Granted most of Chad is located in the Sahara and Sahel deserts, but I live in N'Djamena, a city on the banks of the Chari River. Right now the river is very low- this weekend I saw people wading across the river- but my problem is with how water is delivered to my house.

I am not hooked up to the city water infrastructure so my organization that provided and takes care of my residence put a 1400 liter water tank next to my house and is supposed to fill it up every other day.  I figure the pipes to my house from the tank must be broken since the tank needs to be refilled with at least a 1000 liters each time.

So far I have run completely out of water six times in the three months I have lived in N'Djamena.  I suppose running out of water every other week isn't too bad since many of my neighbors have to carry water from the local pump to their house in buckets and other containers.  Thankfully there is a shower at my office so I can clean up if there if needed.

The new twist to my water problem is that the water tank has turned green and black.  Clumps of algae float on the surface and hang from the ceiling of the container.  When I run the shower in the house the water comes out a light green color.  The guards refuse to drink the water saying they will catch cholera or some other parasite that will make them sick.  Hopefully we can clean the tank before somebody dies.

Here is a link to the facts about Cholera from the World Health Organization.  I think we'll be ok since nobody is using my water tank as a toilet (at least I hope not).  Maintenance should empty and bleach it in the morning.  Inch'Allah.

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