Contaminated Water

One hugely negative aspect of living in a third world country is the lack of clean water. It’s truly heartbreaking to see kids drinking out of the ditches. The same ditches that carry garbage, bleach, human and animal waste, and goodness knows what other contaminants. It’s also horrible to see people taking a “refreshing” swim in the dirty river that contains agriculture runoff from the rest of the country.

We are lucky enough to have distillers in our homes to provide drinkable water every single day. And if the power goes out we have a generator to keep the distiller running and the water flowing. The few times in the beginning when I forgot and ran my toothbrush under the tap I paid the price for a day or two. Even the animals have gotten sick from non-distiller water.

I’ve said this many times to Sean, I don’t know if I could handle living here without the support of the Embassy. Hats off to you, NGO workers.

Luckily, when we are out to restaurants and outside the city there is reliable bottled water to drink. We just have to make sure the glass they give us is completely clean and dry. And no ice please. And a completely sealed cap that is the correct brand. (I made the mistake of drinking Obi Zulol water with an RC cola cap before. The results were not fun.)

While these nuances of drinking bottled water in Tajikistan are annoying, I try not to mind. It’s comforting to have at least some form of clean water outside our home and the Embassy.

Then today, we got a message from the Health Unit that one of the popular bottled water brands tested positive for E. coli. This might explain why our friends have been going down with tummy troubles for the past two weeks and why Sean’s been sick for the past five days.

All hail the mighty distiller.

Access to clean water is a major issue in Tajikistan and many other countries around the world. There are many USAID projects doing great work here to ensure access to clean water is universal to all peoples. For more information, please click here

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