Sunday, April 2, 2017

Water IS Life

Civil War
Water & Watersheds
by Edward Hessler

NPR's Goats and Soda premiers a film today on transporting water from the Nile to Palorinya, a refugee camp in Uganda.

The camp like all these camps lie far from both my reality and imagination of what a refugee camp is like. It is not a week-end camping on the North Shore or camping to see the Sandys staging for their northern push in Nebraska.

The Palorinya refugee camp is now home to Sudanese who have come there because of civil strife in Sudan. For how long is not known.

Each day refugees are provided 15 liters (~4 gallons) of water for ALL of their daily needs. The average US family, on the other hand, uses about 1135 liters  (300 gallons) of water each day. And it comes directly to us, in pipes, from faucets. We do none of the "getting."

Refugee camp in Ethiopia, 2008 - Photo by John Lavall

Let's see. I washed this morning, drank a couple glasses of water brushed my teeth, flushed the toilet, made a single cup of coffee and cleaned the filter, each done casually and without regard. (We've a new filter in the office and it takes more water to clean after emptying than I expected and then there is the sponging up after...)

Water is an expectation of daily life here. There it is a hope and worked for. It organizes daily life.

The film was made by Tim McDonnell who had come on a Fulbright National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship to document the effects of climate change on food supplies.

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