It was a time when two of our volunteer mothers would stay late in the night waiting for Eda Ranu, the water agency, to pump enough water to the settlement – the ATS Oro settlement at 7 Mile outside of Port Moresby.
And when not enough water came to the two public taps during the night, another volunteer would post herself at the nearby public water tap to wait for water to come, along with several from the settlement.
The water agency got pissed off when the settlement association failed to pay the monthly bills generated by water users from the area, who have been paying for their water consumption at the rate of one kina (K1) a day.
Then one day, the water agency decided to limit the volume of water pumped into the settlement – to cut losses – maintaining only a certain pressure enough to keep the precious liquid flowing from the taps, too weak that it took more than three minutes to fill up a one-liter Coke bottle!
The 12kg of meat – beef or chicken – 10kg of potatoes and carrots needed much water to process, something which could not be done at the center. I did it in my flat instead on Friday night and brought them to the center on Saturday morning – all ready to cook.
My own frustration over water had brought me to two water purifying companies in Port Moresby – The Water Company and Aqua 5. I sought their assistance in meeting the drinking water needs of our children, who, during those days, numbered more than 100 already.
They never drank water after every meal. The only liquid that they were able to have was the cordial drink – that sugary water drink which they washed down the food with. That’s all. And health-wise, this was really bad.
Aqua 5 and The Water Company supported me with five containers each (19 liters) every week and this went to the drinking needs of our children. Every Friday, I would drop by their water filling plant for the 10 containers. The next day, Saturday, I would haul them off to the center along with the ready-to-cook meat and veggies.
Would you believe that the first container was emptied in just 10 minutes! That’s just how thirsty our children had been! Well, I had encouraged them to drink at least three glasses of it every time after their meal as there would be enough to go around.
I did not want to think about it, but our volunteer moms assigned to cook meals everyday had pestered me with their complaints. Not enough water with which to wash cooking utensils and plates and to cook food with.
I approached a regular donor – the High Energy Co, a fishing outfit which exports frozen fish. Hearing our water concern, Thomas Kuo, the GM, did not think twice in committing his company into shouldering the cost of the bulk water needed to fill up the tank every five weeks.
The good news above all this is that the Boroko Rotary, through one of its expatriate members David Conn who happened to visit our facility, donated two 9,000-liter water tanks, along with the necessary accessories.
If the hydrologist’s search turns positive, we will drill a deep well that will then provide the water. If not, there would always be donors to shoulder our monthly water bills for these two new tanks.
And hey! There’s another big water news: The manager of a bottled water company – Pure Water – heard about Tembari children and was inspired to look into our needs and found out that our kids are drinking water from the tank.
And not only that …so the kids would enjoy drinking her company’s water, she also delivered one electric-run water dispenser with hot and cold taps, and this gadget is now gushing cool water for as long as the kids would like to firstname.lastname@example.org