Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

Rainwater Harvesting

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collecting water at the start of the rainy season

Water is a topic that we will undoubtedly write about more than a few times during our two year stay in Ghana.  It is such a precious resource which we in the western world tend to take for granted.

The health issues associated with drinking untreated water abound in the developing world.  We regularly see women and young girls carrying water on their heads from wells or dams, sometimes for kilometres.  And the dry, parched earth in this sub-Saharan environment is a testament to the rigours of living without rains for months on end.

On a personal note, we have a much greater respect for use of this Aquarian resource when we see how fortunate we are, with regular running water.  We have a large poly-tank in reserve which we use when the mains is not flowing – which is the case for probably 90% of the time.  And fortunately for us, we have only run the poly-tank dry a handful of times in the seven months we have been here so far.

Mark with our rainwater harvesting system (aka: four buckets!)

So it is with this backdrop that we now greet the coming of the rainy season.  Already we have had a few storms – the rising humidity becomes stifling, clouds build and eventually dump their bounty in bucketfuls upon us.

From a consumption point of view, by far the largest use of water for us comes from flushing the toilet.  In order to conserve water, we now are far more economical with when we flush and certainly no longer deem it necessary to do so after every pee.

Now that the rains have started we have also taken a small step to harvest some rainwater that comes off the roof into our laundry pails.  We will use these pails then, to flush the loo – one bucket gives us about two “flushes”.

It is a small step, but one of those things that remind us how precious the gift of water is.

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Written by Mar(k)

May 18, 2010 at 10:19 am

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