Power and Water
As mentioned, my old apartment was in Mengo, which was close to The Kabaka’s Palace. I was surprised that while I lived in a gated community, and enjoyed all the amenities of modern living my neighbors supplied most of their drinking water with jerrycans via a nearby borehole. I remember pumping water out of boreholes when I was in Gulu. Pumping liters of groundwater, only to carry it back to your house makes you think twice about frivolously using water. Ever since arriving in Kampala, I find myself thinking about water and power almost every day, i.e. will the power go out? Will there be power when I get back home? Sometimes, I turn on the faucet and only a trickle of water comes out. This is related to water pumps not adequately addressing the issue of gravity. I have gotten used to taking cold showers, but I am still not used to showering with barely a trickle of water when you are covered in the dust and muck of the city. I have stopped using bottled water to brush my teeth, and am just super careful to not swallow foam. The last barrier is to stop consuming all this bottled water, and to just boil drinking water. I understand that not all bottled water is equally safe, and some vendors have been known to tamper with bottled water. I’m not sure about all this. My stomach will alert me for sure. In Munyonyo, people address the issue of gravity by keeping their drinking water in polymer containers high above the ground (pictured). I still don’t know exactly how they work, but I know that everybody has one.