Home: Lugging Water


Countless times I have been overseas photographing families that have to live without clean running water. I shoot photos of women and children straining under a load 5-10 gallons of water in jerry cans on their head. They wash their dishes with sand and a few cupfuls of precious water. There are no toilets to flush. The water they drink is tinged brown. All interesting, photogenic, storytelling moments.

Our water line developed a leak this week. We were forced to do without running water for 24 hours. We ran and had no shower afterward. We had to drive three miles to buy drinking and cooking water. The dirty dishes piled up. I slogged ten gallons of brown water from our creek to flush the toilets.

This was a great reminder of those millions around the world that do not have access to clean running water.

See my friend Esther’s excellent work on the world water problem at http://www.estherhavens.com/ or follow Esther on Twitter @estherhavens.

Photograph of Eduardo, a worker who fixed our water problem.

(Canon 5D MarkII, 24-105mm @50mm, 1/100 sec, f16, ISO 100)

┬ęCopyright Gary S. Chapman 2009

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