Togo Drinking Water Kpalime, Togo West Africa Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Drinking water is a major concern of people traveling the planet.
There are some incredible beliefs held by very intelligent and well-read people. I think this may be the problem, they are too well read, and it becomes difficult and maybe impossible to know the truths. They read or watch the news, and the news only reports bad news. Then they misrepresent the situations.
The big truths.
West African people are NOT starving. West African people HAVE water to drink. They do know what a condom is, that does not mean they can afford to buy them. They DO know what a camera is, and they do not think I am stealing their soul, the problem I have is they could ask for me to a pay to take their photos.
They do NOT all have AIDS or SIDA.
I do not wish to go into this further, because in many ways telling the truth to people is impossible. They believe what the BBC and CNN reports against all good common sense.
Example, if the water is dangerous for a traveler, then it is dangerous for the locals. What is more likely is we get diarrhea because of different small microbes, germs, bacteria and such. This will happen if you go to the next adjacent country in Europe or to the next State in the USA, you get diarrhea.
Kpalime, Togo woman buying a pot of public utility water for 25 CFA or about 5 cents U.S. This is an easy photo to find and take.
This is a photo at the Bafana Bafana Hotel here in Kpalime, Togo. I would say, these two photos make it worth me living in this Hotel for a couple of nights. These photos alone, this situation, this experience was to me worth coming to this location for about any reason, I would have paid for this experience. It was free, what is free is life is what is valuable and what I pay for has little value.
Why? Because, I learned a simple truth about Togo, and I am 80 percent clearer, and 80 percent more confident in my beliefs on the water in Togo and I what I believe about the water of most of West Africa.
The lady or girl here is gathering or loading up with water, maybe for drinking, maybe for washing dishes, maybe for cooking. I can not follow her to her home, I cannot ask her questions, and in many ways silly to ask questions as they will tell me what I want to hear, and not what is true, or what they suspect I want to hear. Alternatively, they will say, we suffer or I am hungry, which neither is true, but they know, this gets the white people to give money, they are not stupid, and they are clever.
However, as people consistently believe, they are poor, hungry, thirsty, and they suffer, and then the stupid, the non-African people, a.k.a. white man, or YehBow here, are stupid and give them money or food, teaching and enforcing that them to know. IF they say, I suffer or I am hungry, someone will give them money or food, but not a job.
Sarah is turning on and off the water from inside the courtyard area of the Bafana Bafana Hotel or Auberge in Kpalime, Togo.
This is what happened, I was sitting at the entrance area of the Bafana Bafana, talking or trying to talk with Sarah. She does not speak French good, and for sure does not speak any English. This girl comes to the entrance with that big pot or pan, Sarah gets up and walks into the courtyard, no excuse me, hold on, I will be back; she just goes to the courtyard, the other women goes to the corner of the building.
I walk down to go see what is happening. The girl is standing there, doing what I have seen many times before, and collecting a big pot full of water. Now, I see this all the time, I know they do this, this is easy to see, and common. However, this is the essential cultural lesson here; I was able to ask Sarah questions.
I asked in French, - Combien l'eau? - How much is the water?
- Vingt Cinq - She says, 25 CFA
That is it folks, that is all there is to the story, but the implications, the 100 confirmation, the exactness if this experience was perfect.
Sarah was not in the least interested in explaining the dispensing of water to me. She is what I called a disinterested party. She has not desire to explain or thing, or some reason make the white man happy. This is just something she was doing. Learning information about culture when a person has an agenda or could earn money or get money by lying distorts the truth.
I then asked, do you drink the water pointing at the tap in the courtyard, and she said yes.
I am anxious, I want to have a tester, I want to have to test this water for purity or how good the water is to drink. I drink it, I have not died, and I have visited 76 countries and I have now drank water in 76 countries and I have not died, and for sure I do not get diarrhea from drinking the water, from eating too much coconut, yes, but is that diarrhea? (I think food poisoning is the bigger problem.)
I have learned for sure, the locals do pay for water sometimes, not maybe always, but there is a way for them to buy big tubs full of water.
My guess is this water is safe for about anyone to drink. I have studied the water in Africa now for about 5 months, or at least in West Africa. The water is safer than Asia, this is my belief, this is not my proof, and I cannot prove this, unless I have a tester or way of testing the water, and I learn everything needed to properly test water.
But, for me, I believe I am 95 percent correct, I would drink the water in Africa a lot faster than I would drink the water in Thailand or even Singapore.
It is about enclosed systems or compartmentalized systems of water, the water here is controlled, and it is not enmeshed or coupled with many sources of water or mixed. There is not 1000 years of water line and sewer, and ways of making S.. run down hill.
Southeast Asia is old, Europe is old, the buildings are old, and the way of managing sewers is old. Here, the systems are new, they do not have to do work around systems, they do not have to try to adapt an old system and make it work, they make a new system and it can work.