Water Tings

dry-tap-no-water1

We have not had water for six days… We learnt that the water people went on strike because they have not been paid.. So they closed it at the main.. As Africans would say, “walifunga kwa main“.

All the people in the compound panicked and fetched water… To store in their houses. The tanks are empty now.

When you are used to water, then it disappears, the whole house seems to stink.. So I walk around with jik bleach, so I can pour it in the water that I fetch for the loo, I can pour it in the sinks and bathroom drainage to get rid of these stench.. That is when I remember the pit latrine is a treasure. No flashing..

My mind goes back to all the times I have watched the movie ‘Exodus, or ‘The Ten commandments. I have never really thought how Egypt was when the water was turned into blood… I have been thinking about it the last two days.

To make matters worse, Egypt was stinking because animals had died in the blood, and the blood was rotten. But Pharaoh was still stubborn and did not let the Israelites go. I love when there is water, even if it is in a jerry-can of 5 litres.. I want to know that I can rinse my spoon, my cup and wash my hands now and then. That is, if I want to make tea, I can make tea..

If I was pharaoh, believe me, I would have let the Israelites go even before Moses held his stick over the waters. There is something about water that is alive. There is this river, about 50 metres from here. But I can not fetch water it.

23 years ago, the river was clean. We fetched water from there, cooking water and water for cleaning. But as the place became densely populated, people started pumping sewage to the roads, so that the rain would wash the waste to the river. The rain causes the river to flow, so by mid morning the water is cleaner. It is not raining now, the river is not flowing and is half dry, the stagnant water can not be used.

Even if it rains, I would not go down to the river. Sometime back a friend of mine went to the river to wash her clothes. As she was busy doing so, a naked man suddenly appeared. The lady did not wait to know what the man wanted, she ran like she never thought she could.

From her story, I could imagine how fast she ran. Maybe a helicopter was overhead. Maybe a pilot saw how fast she dashed to the house and informed the government that Kenya has a potential Olympic athlete. So I was in front of the TV all the time this Olympic season to see if I could spot her, because I have not seen her around lately.

I wondered why her first instinct was to run from the naked man. Maybe the man had good news, like wishing to pay her rent from then on, or her boy’s school-fees, or he wanted to help her wash the clothes, now we will never know.

I know you are asking yourself, “Has Berina ever gone down to the river to find out what the naked man wanted?” the answer is NO! “Will she ever go down the river to find out?” NO! “Why?” you ask.. Because the water might be pumped today.

I am still thinking of how stubborn the pharaoh was. There is always this one housefly that visits when there is no water… Even with my small bottle of jik, the housefly lingers.. And I am not at ease. Pharaoh had frogs, he had gnats, he had flies and boils. It did not shake him.

I used a shower while cleaning my skin. Then I started using a big basin, then I used a pail, now I do not want to think about my next bath, because I can see myself bathing from a cup.

Oooooh come water come!

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