…so here’s what happened to me when I finally went to the tap. I got a few sarcastic welcome and a thunderous laughing ovation! It was not funny, but I swallowed it in very hard.
The drama we had every day at that tap rolled into big movie scenes that wasn’t directed or covered by a camera. Sometimes we had to wake up as early as 5am. People even had to go at midnight or early hours of the morning like 1am or thereabout to queue up their buckets. This was because the water was only unlocked by the Security Guard at 6am. The funny part was that the water never lasted for long. If you didn’t make it early enough you could go back to your room so unlucky, not fetching even a cup of water. So one had to make deliberate plans of waking up and racing to the tap.
…humans love to talk, we talk a lot but don’t listen enough
Stories began to roll in. Or should I say gossip? You know how humans love to talk, we talk a lot but never take an action. So, people became curious about the cause of the problem. Though not all the stories were very true. But in all, there was a strong human factor that sabotaged the once happy beginning.
We were all guilty of what we were going through. We contributed to it in particular. Some of the Engineering students started to make suggestions. They told us that the hostel was not well built and the underground water was not placed the right way. I know this was a fact, and we could have thrown the blame to this thought. But somehow, we also saw our fingers pointing right back at us too.
One of the stories was that many persons woke up at night to fetch water because they broke access to it. So in the morning, we scrambled for the left over which was barely enough for the population in the morning. We also discovered that, the problem had to do with how some persons left their taps turned on all night and all day long. So at noon, if there was light and the water was on from the general source, then there’ll be an out pour in the rooms. This was also the fault of the Security Guard who was always missing at his duty stand in the day time. It would waste away as no one was around to turn off the taps. This we did because we were trying to have water while we were at our classes. We were being proactive; in case light didn’t show up and there wasn’t water for days. But, It was not called for then! I mean we used to have good light and enough water back then. That’s how we ended up wasting the water. At the end of the day, the little water we managed to save up couldn’t last till the next day. I know you may be wondering “but you fetched water all day, what did you use it for?” Good Question! Trust us humans, we are never satisfied. We take a lot of things for granted and we always feel we will have it at our disposal. Whenever we see resources, we forget the principle of “diminishing returns” in economics. We throw away the lesson of “seed time and harvest time” for the good farmer. Then, we also lose the common sense of “you can’t eat your cake and have it”
I often wonder why we blame our government and political leaders. Whereas, we are also political leaders and governors in our own little government. Everything our leaders are doing is what they once did in their little place of government. We all fail at being accountants in our “private banks” yet we love to apply for jobs in the bigger banks because we think that one is the real pay.
The days of “water-lack” in our hostel became grievous. To crown it all, the once good light of about fifteen hours in a day, with three hours on and off interval reduced to six, then dropped to three hours light in a day. It worsened that we stayed without light for days and for weeks too. When the light showed up, it would only last for few minutes. It was threatening. We started to reminisce on the good days. But it was gone, and gone until I graduated. I never smelled those good days again! It was terrible that I had to move into school to lodge with a friend. I needed to conveniently carry out my project work and have access to water and light.
We didn’t learn from our experience, though it is often said “experience is the best teacher.” To me this sounds like “one” experience. For humans and most especially for the African man, one experience is never enough. He always has more than a hundred experiences before he finally learns, that’s if he really learns or he pretends to have learnt. In one of those days where light only showed up once, we pumped water.
But this is the part that should interest you [YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT IN PART 3]