Foraging for Water

Water tanker pulling into the driveway and my very cool looking motorbike driver

Water tanker pulling into the driveway and my very cool looking motorbike driver

“Hooray!” I shouted as a water tanker truck pulled into my building’s driveway.

Turning on the shower this morning, I was welcomed with a trickle of water.  Oh sh**, I thought.  The 3-unit complex has a 1,000 L Polytank, or water drum, that serves as a reserve when the city’s water is “not flowing.”  Most of the time, the water is not flowing.  The downside to living in a place that “works” is getting complacent and forgetting how I actually live in Ghana.

On February 19, the water pipe connecting the Weija Treatment Plant to Accra burst and resulted in a water shortage for a number of neighborhoods of Western Accra including Kokomlemle, Ring Road, Agbobloshie, Asylum Down and Odorkor.  This accident left people searching for water for their most basic needs.  Fortunately, our water tank was still full and I was not affected.  I understand that the water pipe is going to be fixed within the week.

On Wednesday, then learned that the Kpong Water Treatment will be shutting down for scheduled repairs.  This will affect Eastern Accra including the neighborhoods of Tema, Ashaiman, Michel Camp, Lashibi, Kotobabi, Pig Farm, Nima, Maamobi, Abelempke, Dzorwulu, and the areas at Akwapim mountains through to Somanya in the Eastern Region.

Immediately after exiting the shower, I called the grounds keeper to find water for the complex.  After about 30 minutes, he assured me that a tanker would be “coming.”  Five hours later, I asked him, “Where’s the water?”  He assured me that it was “coming.”

Not able to fathom living a night without water, I sent the grounds keeper and my motorbike driver out to look for water.  Water tank and tanker trucks seem to roam around the city offering to fill residents’ water tanks for a fee.  At my place in East Legon, the cost to fill a 400 L “PolyTank” was 40 cedis and to fill the 1,000 L PolyTank is 250 cedis.

I offered them both a small incentive if they got me a tanker by the close of day.  I wasn’t looking forward to bathing by satchet water, a sink full of dirty dishes, and (sigh) unflushable toilets.

Fortunately, by 5:40pm, the grounds keeper informed me that they found water!

Man filling up 1 kL PolyTank

Man filling up 1 kL PolyTank

Having to worry about necessities like water does not make me love Ghana more.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: I’m Still Here. I’m Practicing My Invisibility Skills. | obolobo

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