An update on my life

17 02 2008

On Friday I was prevented from paying my electricity bill due to a power cut. Ironically while my water supply has been pretty good for several weeks the electricity has been more problematic, with 5, 6 or 7 hour power cuts over the weekend and on Monday and Tuesday. You get so used to reliable basic services in the UK that you almost stop noticing them. Here I’ve had to get used to no refuse collection and patchy water and electricity supplies. In fact, while I’ve been fortunate with my water, Tamale in general is suffering from something of a water crisis. Lines of women carrying large water containers on their heads move around the town, and men carry three or four large water canisters on their small mopeds. The ancient looking water tankers are out too, filling the poly-tanks of the affluent. In fact I’m wondering how long it will be before I need to call on the services of a water delivery company.

Last weekend one of my colleague’s mother died, so on Thursday we went to pay our condolences to him and his family at the family home. This turned out to be in a small, rural village twenty or thirty miles out of Tamale. Given my lack of Dagbanli and the families lack of English I didn’t follow a lot of what was going on, but it seemed strange seeing Abukari out of context, sitting in front of a thatched mud hut in a village at the end of a bumpy dust track without electricity and only a standpipe for water.

I’d thought that the Harmattan had ended, with several hot, clear days during the week. But this weekend the wind and dust returned with a vengeance, Saturday looking like an overcast English February day (although with temperatures in the 30s (80s) ). The taste of dust in the air has returned and I’m sneezing and sniffling again.




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