Saturday, 23 March 2013

Zulu 3 - A tribe in search of water

Dear Blog readers, 

First of all an apology for the slight delay in blogs for this phase. Our resident blogger, Gabby, has been deployed as a PM on the Coast to Coast trek with Zulu 1 (she seems to be loving it). So it is up to the rest of us here at Fieldbase to deliver news of loved ones to you all. From now on we should be back to one blog a day starting with an interest twist on the trek phase from Zulu 3 focusing on the theme of this phase; Water. 

We are the tribe ¨Zuluthree¨ and our community has lost its sources of drinkable water. With no other option we have packed up our things and set off in search of a new place to live. Our first day took us through dense jungle and we could fill up at a couple of rivers along the way. However, soon the walk up the hill took us away from the water and we had to rely on our portable supplies until we reached the next rest.  Luckily the people sheltering us were willing to share water for cleaning and cooking.
Leonie and James soaking their worn out feet in phase 1
The next day we were unsure when we would next be able to fill up with water and we thought of the 6-8 million people that die from water-related diseases each year. For us, the amount we carried proved to be adequate for the walk.
Our third day brought a change in terrain and a new challenge to face.  As we moved out of the jungle, the roads became easier to walk on but the sun blazed down on us from the sky. With the added heat we consumed more of our personal water supplies.  A member of our group was in trouble having only one container for carrying water. His supply was now very low. Only the support of the tribe members saved him until the next water source was reached. As many as 1.6 billion people live in countries with water scarcity. Their situation is a lot worse and more prolonged than ours.
Some of the rivers our trekkers come across are crystal clear

Day 4 proved to be the toughest yet as the walk was long and hot. 783 million people do not have access to clean water, and, as our tribe walked on we felt the desperation of such situations.  Along the way we filled up with water from various places such as garden hoses and taps. The end of the day meant we could drink our fill and we were once again content.

The 5th day was a simple walk but our ordeal began with a search for a place to stay and a source of water. One of our possibilities was camping by the river but some of the tribe worried about the pollution of such a valuable water source. Not only could the water be contaminated from upstream be we did not want to pollute it inadvertently ourselves. The alternative came from local residents as they let us stay with them and we avoided any possibility of pollution.
Today is the 6th day in our search and looking back we thank the luck that has seen us to this point. With World Water Day upon us we celebrate and think of others in similar or worse situations. 
X ray 3 weren't short of water in phase 2

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