Life on the dry side of the planet

Alberto trying to save the banana plant In 2013 I had the chance to visit my family and spend a year in a little village “somewhere in the middle of Colombia”. In most part of the country there are two seasons: the rainy and the dry one. In the recent years the dry season became critical and I could experience myself how difficult it makes people’s everyday life. My sometime neighbour’s story can describe better how critical problem is the decrease of potable water today in many places:

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“When I was a little girl, Christmas was my favourite time of the year. Today, I fear it the most, to be exact I fear from what is coming after Christmas…Burning heat, dry land, not a single drop of rain. First, the nearby lake dries out, then the upper one. We used to get water for our house from that lake. The side of the road is covered with fine, thick layers of dust. Trees are loosing more and more leaves, in order to keep some water inside, they are trying to adopt to the dry season. Rain only comes maybe two times a month.The struggle of survival begins.

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Can water consumption be reduced in the Third World?

Water consuption is a serious issue in Colombia. Usually the water usage is the biggest cost in the household’s overhead – the overhead cost devours about 50-70% of incomes of people from the lower classes.

In such a tropical country people use more water than in Europe. The first reason is that they tend to take a bath on average 2-3 times a day, because of the hot weather. The other reason is that in Colombia an incredibly uneffective saniter-system has spread around that uses almost 8-10 liter of water each time you flush it. Besides in Colombia almost 40% of the population lives in severe poverty. Continue reading