Water please! / by Alan Strathman

On May 21st I wrote about the water outage we were having. In that post I said that water outages for me are not rare, but neither are they too problematic because my house has a big tank and a pump. So even when the crappy water company doesn't send water there is still water coming out of the pipes.

That is.........UNTIL THE TANK IS EMPTY.

We have not had water since Tropical Storm Matthew went through last Wednesday (5 days ago) and the tank ran dry on Saturday. Today is Monday. So since Saturday there has been not a drop of water coming from the pipes.

It's one thing to lose the internet. That's just inconvenient. It's worse to lose electricity. That requires finding solutions for various problems.  Losing water is MUCH worse. That requires finding solutions for......surviving.

I bought some big bottles of water. But I am close to running out of the big bottles of water because yesterday was Sunday and stores are only open for a few hours and today is a holiday (Thanksgiving) and nothing is open.  Of course, you can't do laundry. You can't wash dishes. You can't flush the toilet. And you can't find any water to drink!

The water company on St. Lucia is called WASCO (Water and Sewer Company) and they are terrible. The send water on what seems like a totally random schedule.  Actually, that's not true: they appear to send water only as a way of messing with people. Last night I went to stay with Doug in Banse, his little community in the country. They often have no water and there is not a pump for their tank so the only water he can get comes out of a pipe outside. When we woke up this morning we discovered from a neighbor that the water had been turned on from about 2 am until about 4 am.  After that it was off again. Why, why, why?

I asked my landlord about it. He said he called WASCO and they told him that the pipe is blocked. So in Banse that means the pipe was blocked until 2 am. Then it was not blocked until 4 am. Then it was blocked again at 4 am. Un-unh!

In the U.S. if there was no water at all in a community for an extended period of time, the water company or district or whatever would be coming around with cases of water for residents.  This would be big news.  Someone would get to the bottom of it and it wouldn't happen again. Here it happens all the time and nothing ever is done about it..

Developing countries are still developing.