3rd world in the 1st world

Update: After many years of unfulfilled promises from the local municipality, the family finally has running water.

A large chunk of my family lives in a part of the country where the wells have run dry due to drought. They survive by filling up a big tank of water when they go into the city and driving it back home. It has been this way for years.

The nearest city has been promising a water pipe out to them for over 7 years. The family gladly and eagerly declares their willingness to pay for running water. Their willingness to help dig the trenches and lay the pipe necessary to get the water. And after seven years, much of the pipe has been laid, but they still can’t get the right people and authorizations out to turn on the water.

Once upon a time, we sent a man to the moon. Now we can’t lay some damn pipes.

People in Detroit have running water, but chose not to pay for it–that, of course, is cause for international concern. “The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those residents.”

The family could have running water with a better, deeper well (maybe not the best water, but hey, they could flush their toilets on a regular basis.) But digging wells is difficult and expensive.

There are multiple charities that dig wells in Africa and other parts of the 3rd world. I have contacted some of them, but they do not have the paperwork and authorizations necessary to dig wells in the US.

We are paperworking ourselves to death.

Another branch of the family, located in a wetter part of the country, belongs to a church that sends aid projects to Ethiopia, digging wells and planting trees (which apparently the Ethiopians keep chopping down). But they do not dig wells for their own kinfolk here in the US.

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One thought on “3rd world in the 1st world

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