Washing My Dirty Socks in Public
- 17/ 7/ 2005 <--Prev : Next-->
WASHING MY DIRTY SOCKS IN PUBLIC
Sadly the imposition of water rationing has descended upon us yet
again in Bulawayo.
But then I suppose we should be grateful that we have any water at all.
Many people in Zimbabwe have to carry their daily bucketful on their
heads for miles, however it is what one is accustomed too that is
Fuel rationing is ghastly, bread rationing is dreadful, going without
sugar has never bothered me personally but water rationing is indeed
an imposition !!
Especially when the City fathers have been talking endlessly about
augmenting our water supplies for the city since the year 1906 !!
We housewives are a resilient bunch, we have had to put up with much
worse things in our beloved country, what could be worse than death
or having your home bulldozed down around your ears, absolutety no
comparison I know but water rationing, when it could have been
avoided, sucks !!
So back we go to recycling the bath-water, first you use it for the
more than ample bod, transfer it to the laundry, the pour it down the
Back to those mazoe bottles filled with sand, placed in the toilet
cistern. We have those old fashioned cisterns, (the house was after
all built in 1952), which hold practically all of our entire daily
ration of 600 litres !!)
Back to "save water, bath with a friend". Its fun in summer but
pretty ornery in winter. My two slender daughters and I have often
bathed together. (I can imagine my less devoted friends here rolling
around in mirth at the thought of this) but an article I once read
written by a psychologist, said that if you bath with your adolescent
offspring, all defences are let down and your child will open up and
confess all !! (Bare all I suppose would be a more suitable
Unfortunately these days something adipose and unfriendly seems to
have happened, and the family bath is no longer large enough !!
But I digress, back to water rationing. Probably the factor that has
contributed most to us living happily ever after in Bulawayo, has
been our love of our wildlife, our wide open spaces and our gardens
plus our privacy behind our own precious four walls.
Now the powers that be are taking away our gardens and forcing
themselves behind our four walls to look at our unlawful erections !!
As I cart buckets of bath water from the bath to the loo, my mind
wanders back to 1993 when Bulawayo was yet again in the throes of
water rationing. The City Fathers were civic minded in those days
and introduced a programme hosted by yours truly, called "Bulawayo
Must Live !" A far cry from the Operation Murambatsvina where one
wonders what the city fathers are thinking !!
A weekly slot on prime time TV was aired, where the dam levels were
viewed, public conscientising was undertaken, tips on water
conservation were explained and the drastic steps that needed to be
taken were elaborated upon.
Many happy hours were spent wandering around Bulawayo's supply dams
with my old cronies from ZBCTV - my late dear friend Rueben, and all
the wonderful folk who all worked for ZBC for many years -
Livingstone, Marcus, Sol, Oscar, Patrick and Amon.
Bulawayo did live of course, thanks to ample rains the next year, and
then there was the usual flurry of activity to bring water from the
Zambesi, build the Gwayi Shangani Dam, pipe water from Mtshabezi Dam,
but, guess what, nothing happened !!! And here we are again......
washing our dirty socks in our equally dirty bath-water !!
My Blessed Mum always used to quote "I cried because I had no
shoes.... and then I saw one who had no feet" and so really these
silly little trials of ours all pale into insignificance.
I will put my bucket down now and go back to that article on the news
where I was reading about the thousands of folk displaced by
In one refugee shelter alone UNICEF has brought in 35 portable
toilets for over 5000 people (and rising)
35 000 litres of water is being delivered daily to this camp - that
works out at 7 litres per person per day, and suddenly I can only
shut up thank God for my 600 litres a day !!