Week Without Water

Tomorrow I am going to turn off the water in my apartment, and I will not be using taps or bottled water for a week. This is part of a documentary to put into perspective how hard it is for my friends in Enkiito, Kenya to live collecting water out of puddles and ponds every day.
If you’d like to help, please donate on You Caring, or purchasing some of the beautiful Maasai jewelry from someone for Christmas in the shop or just share the project with your friends.
All of the money raised gets put directly by me into providing accessible water and education to the people who live in the village. Thank you to everyone who’s helped so far. It means a huge amount to Jackson‘s family and me.

DAY ZERO:
I just had my last shower for a week as tomorrow I’m starting a‪#‎weekwithoutwater‬ in aid of Enkiito. This is where my drinking water will be coming from for the next week:

Week Without Water collection box

Week Without Water collection box

Let’s hope it rains!

DAY ONE:
Water collected 1.5L
Water used 1.3L
My week without water is going to be harder than anticipated. Even in Manchester it did not rain enough last night…
bucket
I have cat litter, bleach and a bucket to use as a toilet. Writing that makes me sad. I filtered my rain water through a tea towel and boiled it – safety first! Look at that happy face at the first sip:
first drink
My main lesson from today is – drinking water that you’ve collected out of puddles and filtered: time consuming and slightly irritating. Using a bucket as a toilet: utterly and completely vile.

DAY TWO:
Water collected 3L
Water used 2L
I was up at 6am to collect all of my water for the day out of puddles so I wouldn’t be late for work. This of course made me horrendously tired all day, and was only added to by the fact that I was bursting for a pee because I had to wait until I got home to my horrible bucket. Not a happy bunny.

DAY THREE:
Water collected 0L
Water used 1L
I made the mistake of checking the weather forecast. Honestly Manchester… the one week I need you to rain! And you can only give me two days!
weather
I’ve started getting headaches due to not drinking any caffeine. I attempted to remedy this by microwaving some of my water to make a cup of tea. Note to self: microwaved rain water with a nice aroma of water purification tablet = not good. I managed to wash my entire body (not hair) using around 300ml of water and a flannel. Not bad going I thought! My boyfriend thinks otherwise. He thinks I smell “like you last took a shower about 3 days ago”. Well that would be an accurate description of my situation! I cooked myself a goat leg to try to distract myself with a full Maasai experience. It worked. For a little bit. But my head is starting to itch…

DAY FOUR:
Water collected 1.2L
Water used 1L
Still no rain. I’m poorly. It was inevitable really. All snivly and all I want is a nice lemsip… But the water must be conserved. It’s becoming part of my morning routine, filtering my collected water:
filtering my collected water
The washing up is piling up but I’m too concerned about being able to drink tomorrow to wash it. It better rain tomorrow…
This evening also saw HRH The Prince of Wales present the Tusk Awards, at which a number of celebs were wearing bracelets made in Enkiito!

I’m very proud of everyone for making it happen. But I feel a million miles away from all the glamour with my greasy hair, runny nose and dry mouth.

Come on Manchester… give me that famous rain…

DAY FIVE:
Water collected 5L
Water used 4L
It finally rained in the night! I feel like I’ve won the lottery!

It rained...!

It rained…!

I was so poorly that I really wanted some home comforts, so I heated the rain water on the stove and washed my hair in a bucket! It feels incredible. No more itchy scalp for me! I even did the dishes, and my kitchen no longer smells!

DAY SIX:
Water collected 0L
Water used 1L
Went over board in my excitement yesterday… no water left… had to use the same water for washing my body, then my underwear (I’ve run out of clean) and then my breakfast dishes. Anyone for bowls washed in dirty pants water?

DAY SEVEN:
Water collected 5L
Water used 3L
Well it didn’t rain, and I’m out of water, so there was nothing for it. I walked to the lake.

Collecting water from the lake

Collecting water from the lake

Water is very heavy. The whole process took three hours and by the time I got back I didn’t have the energy to do much else. How are people expected to go to school after doing this every day?
No rest for the wicked though; I was off the sell the jewellery at Levenshulme market.

Levenshulme market

Levenshulme market

We did a roaring trade! And now I am counting down the minutes to midnight… I’m coming for you, bath…!

EPILOGUE:
It’s mid afternoon and I still haven’t used any tap water except the toilet! That’s the main relief; not having to worry about where excrement goes. It’s nice to know I don’t have to deal with disposing of it later. Turning on the taps feels like cheating. Like using a cheat code on the Simms. Is it really that easy?

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