Precious Water

Supper’s cooking on the fire outside… Imagine this was your street; the place you lived and called home.  Imagine this was where you lived your life, brought up your family, chatted with your neighbours, got ready and went to work, came home to in the evening…

This is a fairly typical place for garment workers to live, in Cambodia.  Imagine what’s different about living there – what is normal for the people in this street?  Let’s just think about one thing – water…

Those beautiful big earthenware pots – the kind of thing that town planning in a Western country might use for landscaping, planting a few bright plants to cheer us along – each of these contains the water supply for one of these busy homes.

Some of them are covered, some are open; the water in these jars is for everything – cooking, cleaning, washing, laundry – a whole family’s water needs.  It seems uncared for – there’s graffiti on the doors, but this is a billing system.  Look up close:

Each box is a week – each cross denotes when the water supplier has filled up the jar with a new supply of precious water.  Each cross means another bill.

Fundamentals that we might take for granted, like running water, are different in other places.  It pays to be thoughful about where things come from – our clothes, our water, our food, our housing and how our normality compares to that of others.’

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