Monday, February 3, 2014

Water Water Everywhere But Not A Drop To Drink

This is a road about six hours north of Gaborone. Can you see a road in this picture? No, me neither because it is completely flooded with water. This is what most of the mid to northern part of the country looks like right now after intense and long-lasting rainfall. In fact, the overflow of water has been declared a national disaster, as many of the rivers have overrun their embankments and roads have become impassable.

Gaborone and the southern part of the country, however, is still without water. It has not rained, our dam is at 11%, and water restrictions remain at three days per week without. We are also experiencing a national disaster but ours is because of drought. The experiences within one country when you drive a mere few hours away is expansive.

What now?

Well, the logical thing would be to build a pipeline to funnel water from the north to the south to more evenly distribute the water. The government assures us this is in the plan. But it has been for some time and to no avail. Protocols, red tape, materials acquisition, and so forth take time, and significantly more time in the developing world than this American would like (and most Batswana too, for that matter). So we wait and we deal with our individual struggles and we take comfort in the fact that we can escape from one world to the next within this crazy beautiful country that we live in.

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