“Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water. Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better; it has no equal.”
I’m in a rural community in the heart of the Miraflor Nature Reserve, Nicaragua and about to witness the most spectacular site. I’m surrounded by natives, sweaty natives, as they’ve worked tirelessly for weeks, digging trenches and laying pipes. Water is the aim: fresh, clean water.
Before I left, I stood bemused in my mum’s kitchen as her kitchen fitter tried to convince me that not everyone needed fresh water. ‘I mean, they’ve survived alright so far’. That was moments before he asked for a cold drink. As tempted as I was I didn’t dunk his pint glass in the garden pond and put a murky pint of sludge in front of his face.
I’m not sure many people could argue that fresh water is a luxury. It’s a necessity isn’t it? To clean, drink and wash in clear water. But in many communities in the developing world it is indeed a luxury they don’t have.
Water is lifted from a well, one well in La Pita, Nicaragua. This isn’t a quick task and each bowl of water lifted brings only a pitiful amount of water. Have you stopped to think how much water you use on a daily basis? Every time you flush the toilet, have a shower, turn on a tap. Well when you suddenly don’t have it, the issue becomes very real. Disease and thirst, in hot humid conditions isn’t the one.
With a little help from the NGO I was working with La Pita was about to experience the pure joy of their hard work, as the water flowed for the first time.
No they’re not waving that pipe around just for the sheer hell of it, although as you can see the air was filled with excitement. These guys are checking the water pressure is strong enough to let the water travel at the steepest gradient it’ll need to.
When I left, there was still some way to go to connect the pipe to a water tank they’d built but they were almost there. If you can’t imagine life without clean water I’m happy for you. I hope you never have to experience it, but be sure that this community is about to have much healthier, happier lives because of it.