Life here is slowly returning to normal. Social conversations are still all about what happened and who was badly affected. Most of us – but not all, have our electricity back on and we can get where we need to go, although there are roadworks everywhere and a few detours still. The vegetation next to the rivers looks ravaged and huge trees are lying sadly on their sides with withered leaves. There will definitely not be a shortage of firewood here for a while.
Our water on the other hand is still quite disgusting
I put this water into the bottles 10 days ago hoping to be able to sediment out the sand and get clean water. To date there is very, very, little sedimentation and it still looks just as orange as when I bottled it. I have tried filtering it through cloth and coffee filters but nothing comes out. Ceramic jug filters just get blocked so they are no good either.
A city 100km’s away from us sends a huge truck filled with water to our town every day and we can collect water. For a day or two all bottled water in the stores was sold out but they are all fully stocked now. I looked at some prices for those who purchase their water – Pick ‘n Pay R18.95 for 5L, – Labamba R12.95 for 5L and Oasis, R13.95.
I use our purchased bottled water for cooking and drinking. Even Cleo and Savannah get bottled water to drink. We shower in the orange water but I just can’t bring myself to wash our clothes in it. Our laundry pile is quite huge. I met a lady yesterday who is taking her washing to Nelspruit (2 hours away) to get it done in a laundromat there. I will have to make a plan to get some washing done somehow as it does not look like this problem will be resolved in the very near future.
The small roads on and around our farm are in a state of disrepair.
These gullies will have to be filled with rock and sand to avoid further erosion when it rains.
Some good news though, is that our new baby giraffe is fit, fat and flourishing and survived the rains well.