Daily Use of Water in Ghana
Splish-Splash: Daily Use of Water
Fortunately, here in Amisano, we have many sources of water. During the dry season, when there is no rain, it's sometimes hard to find. Even though I have piped water, I always boil and filter it before using it. The pipes in Ghana are always breaking, and the water isn't always clean. I also use the piped water for washing clothes and for bathing. In my house I have a flush toilet, and I have a sink for washing dishes. One of the hardest things for me is doing all my laundry by hand. I don't use nearly as much water as I did in the U.S. I've come to realize how precious water really is.
Instead of taking a shower, I take a bucket bath. Instead of turning on the faucet, I turn my water filter tap for drinking water. Instead of putting my clothes in the washer, I put them in a plastic bucket and scrub by hand (Oh, my knuckles!). Instead of putting my dishes in the dishwasher, I put them in another bucket to wash. Instead of having an electric pump that pumps water from our well to the sink, I pump water by hand, carry it to a large, blue container, and fetch it when I need it. Instead of having options for what I can drink when I'm thirsty, I always drink water. Water doesn't go down a drain here; when wastewater fills up in a bucket, I throw it into the bushes.
My use of water here in Ghana is much different from the way I used and thought about water in the United States. With no running water, every drop counts for me because every drop I use must be collected, hauled, and stored. I use water for the same things as I did at home, but I use a lot less. Instead of a long, hot shower, I use less than one full bucket for bathing. Instead of rinsing food under a faucet, I rinse it in water in a small basin, in which I'll also wash my hands, and add soap and wash my dishes. I store water in a large barrel, but I store my drinking water in a separate container to keep it clean. In addition to using water for bathing and cooking, I use it for washing my clothes and sometimes in cleaning my house.
Gbefi, Volta Region, Ghana