Sunday, February 6, 2011

Water at last at Tembari Center

The water bulk carrier starts pumping water into the 5,000-liter water tank on Saturday, finally ending the water crisis at The Center. The delivery cost K260, paid for by an anonymous donor. (More pictures after story.)


A Friend of Tembari Children


Oh yeah … it finally came to The Center on Saturday, spiking excitement from everybody – the children, volunteer mothers -- and in me.

It arrived in a form of a bulk carrier from Mauri Ranu, a water distributor licensed by Eda Ranu, the water agency here in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Soon after the carrier settled at The Center’s premises it pumped the 1,000 gallon supply into the water tank that had been in itself thirsty, just sitting on its throne for almost a month – waterless.

The reason was that the village water service at ATS Oro Settlement at 7 Mile, outside the city has gone kaput, keeping the area virtually waterless for most of the day.

For long, the Center suffered from this gross inefficiency of the village association called Oro Community Development Association (OCDA) which operates the village water service.

It collected from water users but did not pay the bills to Eda Ranu over the years that they piled up and are now about to hit K200,000! Now, everybody at the village was asking where the water money went. We can always have a good guess on this.

With water supply enough for use for the entire month, we can now move on with our lives.

The 5,000 liters would be good for 37 days, or five weeks, if we consume it at the rate of 7 plastic containers (19 liters) per day – three containers for drinking, 2 for mixing cordial drinks and 2 for cooking and washing dirty kitchen utensils.

And there would be extra for other uses such as washing the hands of the children before having their meals.

We may even start growing some veggies that could go into the daily meals of the children. Since they are served with tinned fish everyday, a good deal of veggies is needed to boost the nutrition of this dish.

A vegetable garden would therefore be a good idea to pursue now that water is no longer a problem at The Center.

The 5,000 liters cost K260, paid for by an anonymous donor, at least for the first delivery so we could restore sanity at The Center which we lost for almost six months until yesterday since water service at the settlement failed.

To manage the water efficiently, we will therefore allot 7 plastic containers (19 liters) for everyday use.

The water tank has been installed with a tap secured by a “key”, so that it could not be turned open by anybody – particularly the kids who are prone to playing water– unless it is opened with the specially-designed key.

The water tap key will be kept by The Center’s administrator.

Our beneficiary children whose number will rise above 110 this year will now be able to drink water at their heart’s content before and after meals, or when they feel thirsty.

A water dispenser would always be at the ready for them every-day.

The other day, the children had to settle to drinking fresh milk to wash down the food at dinner as there was not even a drop of drinking water at The Center.

The village tap went real dry during the day, and it was good that we still had a few packs of fresh milk that solved the thirsting crisis.

However, since water crisis hit the settlement, our beneficiary children had not drunk water for most of the time and just washed down food with cordial drinks.

Health-wise, it was not ideal because a person is supposed to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday apart from other liquids taken -- something not easy to do for one reason or the other.

Last year,
when we brought first few plastic containers of 19 liters to The Center for our Saturday special lunch cooking, the children downed the first container in just 15 minutes.

It only showed how thirsty our children had become during those days when water was that hard to come by.

With dry days at The Center finally over, we could all rejoice,and we thank our Lord for making our water facility project a reality.

Well, thanks to RH Foundation for providing us this vital water facility, and to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Ltd and New Zealand-based engineer Joe Buenaventura for supplying the materials used in building the concrete platform on which the 5,000-liter tank sits.

And urgently, we would like to appeal to individuals or corporate entities for a monthly donation of K260 that would defray the cost of our regular water supply.

Providing the Tembari children with this vital commodity, you would be contributing greatly towards enhancing their health and in making life at The Center a little better.

Our volunteer mothers would no longer have to stew the whole night waiting for water to flow from the village tap. This is now a thing of the past.

And always remember: Water is Life.

And it is life that you are giving away to the Tembari Children.

Be a part of their lives.

The water bulk carrier arrives on Saturday do deliver 5,000 liters of fresh water for use at The Center.

The water tank in the foreground with the bulk carrier seen in the background.

The water pump merrily hoses precious water into The Center’s water tank facility.

Children curiously watch how water is brought to the tank.

After the water thank has been filled, excess water is loaded into plastic containers.

Hayward Sagembo, Co-Founder and Director of the Tembari Children Care (TCC) Inc, having a feel of the first water flow from the tank.

The tap gushes freshwater into the plastic container. – All pictures by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ

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