Summertime in Tanzania – February 3, 2012

Yes, it is summer here since we are located in the bottom half of the world and fairly close to the equator. We have never heard Tanzanians make comments about being too hot until the past couple of weeks. Besides that, homes and businesses in Moshi are doing without running water. The regional water server is rotating the stoppage of water in order to conserve it. We’ve been told that the rainy season of November and December was shorter than it should be. Earlier this week, The Guardian, the English language newspaper, reported that the government has recently stabilized its electricity supply by implementing a “rescue power plan” which is now working. It also says that “water levels in most power generating dams are not impressive.” The water is at or near minimum levels. Last year it was the shortage of electrical power, and this year it’s the water supply. I don’t know what risk this poses to the new electrical service.

So what does that mean for the children and families in the “Building a Caring Community” (BCC) project? Many of them are indirectly affected because they have neither running water nor electricity in their homes to begin with. However, families who raise produce to sell at the market or their own stand may be dealing with more competition at their neighborhood outdoor faucet since more people are without water. Also, some families have temporary layoffs from jobs because a business or industry depends on water to operate. This is the growing season on large farms where hundreds of seasonal field workers are employed. If the crops are not receiving water —- well, you know the rest. Clearly the stress resulting from this latest hardship in Tanzania trickles down to the children. Life is so hard for many people at the best of times. What will they have to deal with next?

Barb

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