Carl reflects on one of our most precious resources in the wake of National Water Week, 6-11 MARCH 2012, and as we prepare to celebrate International Water Day on the 22nd March.
“Water is life: Respect it, Conserve it and Enjoy it”
We are utterly reliant on the Klaserie River at Camp Jabulani. Water is pumped out of the river on a daily basis, through a high tech water purifying system and into the camp’s cement reservoir.
On the 18th January 2012 disaster hit the Hoedspruit area causing large scale flooding and resulting in millions of rands worth of damage. The Klaserie River burst its banks, and we were left with no running water for more than a week. We were left with no alternative but to close the camp for more than a week until our water supply could be re-instated.
The entire staff complement at Camp Jabulani felt the direct impact of being deprived of running water. With their accommodations also being cut off from the water supply, H20 had to be manually transported in 20 litre drums. Funny how you only realise how much you take something for granted when it is taken away from you!
This all made me think of an amazing true story I heard some time ago of a bushman from the Kalahari Desert who was taken on a fully sponsored trip of the United States of America. He enjoyed a visit to The Empire States Building in New York, a guided tour through the Kennedy Space Centre, he spent 2 full days at Disney World in Florida going on most of the rides and tours, he went up the Statue of Liberty, and he saw The Golden Gate Bridge. He was transported in Caddilacs and flew in Jumbos and Bell helicopters. He was wined and dined in the finest restaurants. At the end of his trip he was asked (through his translator) this question. “Of all the things that you have seen and experienced in the last two weeks, what was the most impressive?” He nodded and guided them to the gents’ bathroom where he pointed at a tap.
My personal wish is that we all, as citizens of this planet, start to treasure what natural resources we have in front of us. One never knows when they will be disrupted, or worse – disappear forever.
In the meanwhile, running water has thankfully been restored to Camp Jabulani. We have installed a brand new water supply system with a view to saving electricity, and to ensure less water is wasted.
We wholeheartedly support the objectives of the ‘National Water Week’ initiative, and will be part of the global community who pay tribute to one of our most precious resources on the 22nd March.